Patriot Day Challenge Coins

Honoring the fallen of a dark day in U.S. History

For many of us, September 11, 2001, started as just another weekday. As a nation, we made our way to work, had coffee, and started our morning routine like any other day. The news came out as many of us prepared for the workday ahead. Everything changed instantly as the world heard the first reports of a terrorist attack on the World Trade Center in New York City, another attack at the Pentagon in Washington D.C. and an aborted attack in Pennsylvania. None of us will forget where we were at those momets.

We watched in disbelief as a set of coordinated attacks happened before our eyes—another one at The Pentagon and one in Shanksville, PA, which brave passengers thwarted.The attacks galvanized people and changed everything about the way we live. People rushed to help how they could, and the first responders raced to do everything within their power to assist. Every year since that fateful date, the United States comes together to honor those who died on 9/11.

Patriot Day is a day to honor the nearly 3,000 who died that day, the first responders and those who sacrificed their lives for the sake of others. Since 2001, memorials across the country honor those who gave their all. Each year we observe the day with moments of silence and special events across the country. Let’s discuss Patriot Day's origin, ways you can celebrate the day, and how we can help!

History of Patriot Day

Patriot Day's history is directly tied to the aftermath of the September 11 terrorist attacks. On September 13, 2001, in the immediate aftermath of the attacks, President George W. Bush proclaimed Friday, September 14, 2001, as a National Day of Prayer and Remembrance for the victims.

A bill to make September 11 a national day of mourning was introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives in October 2001. The following year, President Bush made Friday, September 6, through Sunday, September 8, National Days of Prayer and Remembrance for the victims of the attacks. On September 4, 2002, he proclaimed September 11, 2002, as the first Patriot Day.

In 2016, President Barack Obama announced September 11 as Patriot Day and National Day of Service and Remembrance. In 2017 and 2018, President Donald Trump declared September 8–10 as National Days of Prayer and Remembrance, proclaiming September 11 as Patriot Day.

Special memorials and events often take place across the country. Patriot Day is not only a day to honor the fallen, but those who answered the call of duty for their fellow Americans. It’s a day to come together and show our patriotism. What better way to do so than with a special honor? 

Observing Patriot Day

How does one observe Patriot Day? Each year moments of silence happen throughout the morning in remembrance of each individual attack. The American flag is flown at half-staff at the White House and on all U.S. government buildings and establishments around the globe, while Americans are encouraged to display flags.

Though Patriot Day is not a federal holiday, memorial ceremonies occur nationwide. Honor the day by taking in an event or visiting a memorial. Become a volunteer and help an organization while honoring those who passed away in the attacks. Many special events and outreach programs commemorate the annual observance.

Another unique way to observe the day is with custom challenge coins. These small tokens are memorable and meaningful, especially for ceremonies and special events attendees. Pass them out to special guests and honorees, present them as awards to first responders who risk their lives daily, or design something for your community that brings people together. Challenge coins are small in size, but have significant meaning to their recipients.

Patriotic Challenge Coins

Challenge coins have a long military history, and patriotic-inspired designs are popular. Custom challenge coins are a distinctive way to commemorate patriotic holidays, including Memorial Day, Flag Day, Independence Day, and Patriot Day. Patriotic challenge coins offer a wide range of flexibility, which means you can create a coin that reflects your beliefs and honors the country.

A well-designed custom challenge coin tells a story and provides information about what it represents. For example, Patriot Day challenge coins may include the date, a memorable slogan related to 9/11, locations, and other elements. Imagery and artwork are always standout features for any challenge coin design.

Consider who will be receiving the coins that you design. Challenge coins are an excellent way to celebrate police officers, firefighters, EMS workers, and other first responders. Include details such as logos and insignia for specific police or fire departments. Add elements such as shields, helmets, axes, or the EMS Star of Life. These unique details add a personal touch and celebrate those who go above and beyond to keep our communities safe and sound.

Custom challenge coins are meaningful tokens that are held in high regard by their recipients. A thoughtful custom coin will be an honor and a memorable keepsake you can pass down from generation to generation.

Patriot Day is an annual observance to remember those who were injured and died during the 9/11 attacks. It's a day to honor those selfless people who put their lives on hold to assist on that fateful day. Patriot Day is one we can also use to praise the bravery and courage of first responders, military members, and more who dedicate their lives to our health and safety.

It's important to honor those who risk everything for our freedom, and Patriot Day is an excellent opportunity to do something special. Do something for your community, honor a veteran, volunteer at an event, or create a stunning custom challenge coin that people will remember for years.

Jesse Daugherty

Jesse Daugherty


Hello, I'm Jesse Daugherty, a music enthusiast, sports aficionado, and an avid supporter of the arts. I'm a writer and content creator. For the past 5 years, I've shared my knowledge of custom challenge coins and other promotional products, exploring their designs, meaning, and purpose.