U.S. Representative Jerrold Nadler, with glasses and striped suit, and...

U.S. Representative Jerrold Nadler, with glasses and striped suit, and Joe Daniels, President and CEO of the National September 11 Memorial & Museum, are seen before announcing the opening of sales for the 2011 September 11 National Medal at the 9/11 Memorial Preview Site in Manhattan. (June 20, 2011) Credit: Jennifer S. Altman

A pure silver medal commemorating the 10th anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks went on sale Monday, and within two hours had generated nearly $120,000 for the National September 11 Memorial Museum, officials said.

According to the U.S. Mint, which has issued the medal, it depicts "Lady Liberty raising the Lamp of Remembrance" and a beacon of lights symbolizing the Twin Towers. On the flip side of the one-ounce silver medal is a carving of an eagle that symbolizes "the strength of survivors, the families and the nation," said Joe Daniels, president and chief executive of the National September 11 Memorial and Museum at the World Trade Center, at the silver medal's unveiling during a ceremony at the 9/11 Memorial Preview Site on Vesey Street at Ground Zero.

The U.S. Mint will issue two million medals, with $10 from each sale to be donated for the operating costs of the memorial and museum. If all two million medals are sold, the memorial and museum will receive $20 million, which still falls short of its annual $55 million to $60 million operating budget, Daniels said. Last week, he told members of the City Council that he will propose charging a suggested $25 donation to enter the museum when it opens in 2012.

Anthoula Katsimatides, 39, of Astoria, Queens, whose brother John Katsimatides died during the attacks, said buying the medals and charging admission to the museum is essential to "keeping the memorial and museum maintained to its highest caliber in memory of those who died."

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