When the “battlefield cross” first appeared is a matter of conjecture. It is possible that it was during the Civil War, signifying a deceased soldier to be gathered and buried during a truce called for that purpose. The fallen soldiers were buried in graves in makeshift cemeteries near the battlefields, marked only by a simple wooden plaque. During both World Wars, the configuration of the rifle pointed down, with the helmet perched on the stock was a common site. It still acted as a marker so that the Graves Registration Service personnel could retrieve the body for burial, and it also started to act as a memorial.
By the time of the Korean War, changes were made to the process of handling the deceased soldier. Instead of burying the soldiers in temporary military cemeteries, they were removed to staging sites to be readied for shipment to Japan and ultimately home. The battlefield cross took on more significance during this time, as a way to provide closure for the fallen soldier’s comrades.
In 1991, at the beginning of the Gulf War, and during both Operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom, the latest version of the battlefield cross: rifle, helmet, boots, and dog tags, has become the symbol of loss, of mourning, and closure for the living.
Interpretations vary regarding the meaning of the components, and how they are placed. The rifle facing downward means the soldier was killed in action; a rifle with a bayonet stuck in the ground tells us the soldier went down fighting. It’s not hard to interpret the placement of the boots or the presence of the dog tags: the soldier has marched the final march to battle, and he will never be forgotten.
Our latest release is a high relief, very detailed tribute to the symbolism of the battlefield cross and the bravery of the military men and woman that defend our country.
- Contains: 1 oz. Troy Ounces of .999 Fine Silver
- Obverse: The modern day battlefield cross over a rugged mountain scene indicative of the mountainous middle east. Encircled with the text “HOME OF THE FREE” across the top, and “BECAUSE OF THE BRAVE” across the bottom, separated by two stars.
- Reverse: Heraldic eagle with wings open, carrying a furled banner with the words “GOD & COUNTRY” incused. Encircled by “FALLEN WARRIORS” across the top and “YOU ARE NEVER FORGOTTEN” across the bottom, and “1 TROY OUNCE .999 FINE SILVER” above.
- Weight: 1 troy ounce
- Purity:.999 fine
- Edge: Reeded
- Diameter: 39 mm
- Thickness: 3.10 mm
- Design by: Mark Bogani