On Monday, June 8, Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur (D-OH) announced that she and Congressman Peter King (R-NY) will jointly introduce the National World War II Memorial Commemorative Coin Act, which authorizes the U.S. Treasury to mint coins in commemoration of the National World War II Memorial in Washington, D.C. Proceeds from the sale of the commemorative coins will be used to maintain and repair the Memorial, as well as for commemorative and educational programming.
The commemorative coin will serve as an important representation of the spirit, sacrifice, and commitment of the brave Americans who fought to defend the nation and advance peace and freedom throughout the world. The legislation ensures that the World War II Memorial will be properly and appropriately maintained and that the commemorative and educational programming at the Memorial remains robust and substantial.
The National World War II Memorial was dedicated in Washington, DC, on May 29, 2004 – the culmination of a 17-year effort. The World War II Memorial is the first national memorial dedicated to all who served during World War II and acknowledges the commitment and achievement of the entire nation. The Memorial honors the 16 million who served in the Armed Forces of the U.S. during World War II, the more than 400,000 who died, and the millions who supported the war effort here at home.
“I am proud to continue to play a small but important role in the continuing evolution of the National World War II Memorial,” said Rep. Kaptur. “When I first introduced legislation in 1987 to authorize a memorial on federal land, I was steadfast in my commitment to have it built and maintained by the federal government. We just celebrated the 15th anniversary of the dedication of the Memorial this past spring and I am thrilled by the amount of interest and visitors it receives. I encourage my fellow Members of Congress to support and co-sponsor the bill.”
“The National World War II Memorial is one of Washington, D.C.’s great treasures and a reflects and honors the sacrifice our Greatest Generation made,” said Rep. King. “It’s an honor to introduce this bipartisan legislation along with Rep. Kaptur that will ensure the memorial is not only maintained and cared for, but also will incorporate an educational programming component so that our younger generations understand how everyone made a commitment in some way to the war effort at that time.”
The proceeds of the sale of each coin will go to the Friends of the National World War II Memorial, a 501(c)(3) non-profit founded in 2007, to maintain and repairthe Memorial, and to ensure educational and commemorative programming remains robust and substantial. Friends play a vital role in educating the American public about World War II; preserving and maintaining the National World War II Memorial as a treasure for the American people, and facilitating key commemorative programs at the Memorial to pay a fitting tribute to America’s “Greatest Generation.”
“We are grateful to Representatives Kaptur and King for their commitment to honoring and preserving the national memory of WWII through this important legislation,” said Holly Rotondi, executive director of the Friends of the National World War II Memorial. “We are especially indebted to Congresswoman Kaptur, the ‘mother’ of the World War II Memorial, for the integral role she played in allowing the Memorial to take its proper place on the National Mall in our nation’s capital and for her continued dedication to remembering and honoring our WWII generation.”
The National World War II Memorial Commemorative Coin Act has been endorsed by the Veterans of Foreign Wars, Paralyzed Veterans of America, Commemorative Air Force, Afikim Foundation, and the 82nd Airborne Division Association, Inc.
Current co-sponsors of the legislation include: U.S. Reps. Marcy Kaptur (D-OH) [author]; Peter King (R-NY) [co-author]; Cindy Axne (D-IA); Troy Balderson (R-OH); Julia Brownley (D-CA); Jim Costa (D-CA); TJ Cox (D-CA); Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA); Bill Foster (D-IL); Anthony Gonzalez (R-OH); Sheila Jackson Lee (D- TX); David Joyce (R-OH); Barbara Lee (D-CA); Dan Lipinski (D-IL); Carolyn Maloney (D-NY); Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA); Jamie Raskin (D-MD); Lucille Roybal-Allard (D-CA); and Albio Sires (D-NJ).
Today, the Memorial is a top destination for millions of annual visitors from all over the country and the world. For many young visitors, their visit to the Memorial is a first glimpse at a grateful Nation’s remembrance of the sacrifices made by the brave men and women who fought against tyranny. For WWII veterans, the Memorial is a special destination, a rendezvous point, and a gathering place for reflection, reunions, and commemorative programs. The Memorial stands as an important symbol of America’s national unity, a timeless reminder of the moral strength and power that flows when free people are united and bonded together in a common and just cause for liberty.
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About Friends of the National World War II Memorial
Founded in 2007, the Friends of the National World War II Memorial (Friends) is a 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to honoring and preserving the national memory of World War II and to creating the next “Greatest Generation” of tomorrow. To meet this mission, Friends sponsors an annual public lecture series featuring prominent historians; hosts an annual teachers conference in Washington, DC; and collects and archives video interviews of World War II veterans and other members of the Greatest Generation. Additionally, Friends has the lead responsibility in planning, staging, and funding five or more major national commemorative events annually and is currently sponsoring a national four-year World War II 75th anniversary commemoration. Friends relies on private support to breathe new life into the Memorial and to ensure that it continues to serve as a living lesson for all Americans.