Many times during a disaster declaration, especially larger events like Hurricanes Sandy or Harvey, a group of folks will conduct a contest for designing a disaster-specific logo to use as a commemoration of that declaration. Usually, the winning logo design will be offered on shirts, similar to our official uniform shirts and employees will purchase shirts to have to wear to future disaster declarations to show they served at those disaster events.
I have never been interested in purchasing those disaster-specific shirts. Heck, I don’t even wear my official uniform shirt unless I am told to do so by Federal Coordinating Officer or my External Affairs Officer, so I never saw a need to purchase disaster-specific logo shirts that I would never wear.
I ALMOST purchased one for the disaster where I first served as a Congressional Affairs Manager, just to have it hanging in my closet as a reminder of that occasion, and ALMOST did the same for the disaster where I first served as Assistant External Affairs Officer-Congressional Affairs for the same reason. But in the end I didn’t do so, knowing they would do just that; hang in my closet and eventually be thrown out.
But earlier this year when I was virtually deployed to the COVID-19 declaration for New Jersey, someone there on site offered something different than a shirt and something that was more appealing to me as an item of remembrance; a COVID-19 disaster commemorative coin.
I ordered mine and it arrived a few days ago here at the house. It is about 2 1/2” in diameter and 3/8” thick with ridges on the edge. I’m not sure what it’s made of, but it’s got a feel of substance to it when you hold it.
Overall, I’m pretty pleased with it and would love to see something similar for future declarations. I’d much rather pass something like this along to my children or grandchildren when I die, instead of a shirt.