I was happy to see this story about how the Bismarck-Mandan Chamber of Commerce is launching a series of coins to support the commissioning of what will be USS North Dakota (SSN 784). Excerpts:
A battle coin to commemorate the new USS North Dakota was unveiled Thursday, the first in a series of four that will be produced until the submarine is commissioned in 2014.Seeing such high-level support for the submarine so early in the building process bodes well for the initial manning crew of the North Dakota. In my experience on two newcon boats, it makes the commissioning parties a lot better when there's a lot of financial support from the namesake.
Fifty of the silver battle coins will be minted, with the first one going to the North Dakota Heritage Center. They will be available for $100 each. An additional 1,500 verbronze coins also will be for sale at $20 each.
Bismarck-Mandan Chamber of Commerce president Kelvin Hullet said proceeds from the coins will go to activities to help promote the submarine...
...Gov. John Hoeven, flanked by Admiral Bill Owens, Vice Admiral Jeffery Fowler and Judge Robert Wefald, helped unveil the design of the coin.
Fowler, the superintendent of the Naval Academy and a Bismarck native, said after heading for Annapolis years ago that it's an honor to see the state have a ship named after it.
Did you old (or current) boats make a big deal out of ship's coins? It seems to me they've gotten to be a bigger deal in the last 10 years or so.