National Purple Heart Hall of Honor Commemorative Coin Act Passes House, Moves to Senate

September 23, 2019

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney’s (NY-18) bipartisan bill, the National Purple Heart Hall of Honor Commemorative Coin Act passed unanimously in the House, with the support of 307 cosponsors.

The bill will honor the National Purple Heart Hall of Honor and all our Purple Heart recipients with a commemorative coin provided by the U.S. Mint, and produced at the United States Mint at West Point. Proceeds from the sale of the coin would be directed to the National Purple Heart Hall of Honor, Inc. (DBA National Purple Heart Honor Mission) for projects and programs that raise awareness about the National Purple Heart Hall of Honor, and pay tribute to the memory and sacrifices of all our servicemen and women who were wounded or killed in combat.

The National Purple Heart Hall of Honor is located in New Windsor, within New York’s 18th Congressional District.

“From day one, my focus has been on our veterans, our military, and their families. We’ve been working for years to pass this bill, and I’m really excited to be one giant step closer to producing this coin to honor Purple Heart veterans, bolster the important work of the Hall and the National Purple Heart Honor Mission, and support the mission of the West Point Mint. Now we need to take the final step, pass this through the Senate and get it done,” said Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney.

“Today is an historic day for America’s combat wounded and those who made the ultimate sacrifice for our country. Congressman Maloney deserves our sincere thanks for all his efforts to ensure passage of the Coin Act in the House of Representatives. The creation of an official U.S.-minted coin honoring our Purple Heart heroes will ensure our organization will be able to continue to promote visitation to the National Purple Heart Hall of Honor, in New Windsor, NY, and fund other programming that pays tribute to all those across America who sacrificed for freedom,” said Richie Lay, Purple Heart recipient, and Chairman of the Board of Directors for the National Purple Heart Honor Mission.

“The Coin Act is an extraordinary opportunity to pay tribute to our heroes who have given so much to our nation. The coin will help our team continue to expand its programming to ensure our combat-wounded veterans are honored and remembered for generations to come. We thank Congressman Maloney for his work to ensure passage of the bill, and all those Members who joined in supporting this legislation,” said Col. Russ Vernon (U.S. Army, Ret.), vice-chairman of the Board of Directors for the National Purple Heart Honor Mission.

The National Purple Heart Hall of Honor Commemorative Coin Act was co-led by Rep. Mark Takano (D-CA), Chairman of the House Veterans’ Affairs Committee and Rep. Mike Gallagher (R-WI), a Marine Corps Veteran.

“The passage of the National Purple Heart Hall of Honor Commemorative Coin Act will help preserve the memory of those killed or wounded in combat. This represents one small step in honoring Purple Heart recipients’ sacrifice and patriotism for our country. Their stories of bravery should never be forgotten and their legacies should be preserved for generations to come,” said Rep. Mark Takano (D-CA), Chairman of the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs.

“Purple Heart recipients are true American heroes. These courageous men and women have made unparalleled sacrifices on behalf of our country, and this legislation is a small way for us to commemorate their service for generations to come. I’m glad to see this bill pass the House in overwhelming bipartisan fashion, and urge my Senate colleagues to swiftly pass this legislation,” said Rep. Mike Gallagher (R-WI), Marine Corps veteran.

 

BACKGROUND:

The National Purple Heart Hall of Honor Commemorative Coin Act authorizes the U.S. Treasury to mint $5 gold coins, $1 silver coins, and half-dollar clad coins at the United States Mint at West Point for the 2021 year. After production costs are recouped by the U.S. Treasury, proceeds from sales of the coin will be directed to the National Purple Heart Hall of Honor, Inc.

The Purple Heart is one of the oldest and most recognized American military medals, awarded to service members who were killed or wounded by enemy action. The National Purple Heart Hall of Honor’s mission is to collect and preserve the stories of Purple Heart recipients from all branches of service and across generations to ensure that all recipients are remembered and serves as a living memorial to their sacrifice.

The National Purple Heart Hall of Honor is operated by the New York-New Jersey Palisades Interstate Park Commission. The hall’s work is supported by the National Purple Heart Honor Mission, a 501c3 nonprofit organization whose goal is to honor America’s Purple Heart recipients, through various outreach and educational programs, including promoting visitation at the Hall of Honor. The National Purple Heart Honor Mission also undertakes other forms of outreach to honor the nation’s estimated two million Purple Heart recipients, such as the Purple Heart Patriot Project that brings Purple Heart recipients from across the country to the New York for a multi-day tribute program.

Congress commissions the minting of up to two commemorative coins every year. The House Committee on Financial Services formerly required these bills to garner the support of at least two-thirds of the House prior to receiving a hearing. Although that rule no longer formally exists, it is informally used as a metric to guide the decision-making process regarding which bills receive a hearing. Achieving the support of 290 or more cosponsors significantly increases the likelihood that a coin bill will be passed through committee, the House of Representatives, and ultimately be signed into law.

The National Purple Heart Hall of Honor Commemorative Coin Act has been endorsed by: The Military Order of the Purple Heart, Senator Bob Dole, Armed Forces Marketing Council, American Military Retirees Association, American Military Society, AMVETS, Army Navy Union, Association of the United States Navy, Gold Star Wives of America, Inc., Korean War Veterans Foundation, Military Order of Foreign Wars, National Defense Committee, National Enlisted Reserve Association, Reserve Officers Association, Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors, The Flag and General Officers Network, The Retired Enlisted Association, and the Vietnam Veterans of America.

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