Coins made at West Point mint will fund programs at museum that honors Purple Heart veterans
By CHRIS MCKENNA | The Times Herald-Record, Middletown, N.Y. | Published: January 5, 2021
MIDDLETOWN, N.Y. (Tribune News Service) — A set of commemorative coins to be minted at West Point under a bill signed by President Donald Trump will raise money next year for programs run in support of the National Purple Heart Hall of Honor in New Windsor.
The bill, which had been pending in Congress for six years, authorizes a $5 gold coin, a $1 silver coin and a half-dollar clad coin. The coin sales are expected to raise up to $9.5 million through surcharges to cover the minting expense, fund trips to the state-run museum by Purple Heart recipients, and support a new mobile exhibit that would travel the country.
"This is a big win for our veterans in the Hudson Valley, our Purple Heart recipients, and the National Purple Heart Hall of Honor and Honor Mission," Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney, D-Cold Spring, said in a statement. "I've worked on this bipartisan bill for years. I'm so proud to see it signed into law and can't wait to see this bill help advance the mission of the Hall of Honor."
Maloney had introduced the bill in the House each year since 2014, while Sen. Chuck Schumer has sponsored it in the Senate. Both chambers finally passed the bill last year, and Trump signed it on Dec. 22.
The Purple Heart Hall of Honor opened in Orange County in 2006 to pay tribute to the recipients of one of the nation's oldest military awards, bestowed on service members who were killed or wounded by enemy action. The state recently expanded the museum, celebrating the project's completion in November at a ceremony with veterans and other supporters.
The federal bill to benefit museum programs allows the U.S. mint at West Point to create up to 1.2 million total coins, which will be sold in 2022. The sale proceeds that remain after recovering the minting costs would be given to the National Purple Heart Honor Mission, Inc., a non-profit that helped establish the museum and supports its work.
According to Maloney's office, the nonprofit will use the funds for its Purple Heart Patriot Project program, which pays for Purple Heart recipients to travel to the museum, and to create a Mobile Tribute and Education Center to take a Purple Heart exhibit on the road.
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