President Bush made the American Veterans Disabled for Life Commemorative Coin Act law with his signature last week. With that, a small mention of its passage in the mainstream media would be expected. But not so. Articles are sparse.
The new law (Public Law No: 110-277) will have the U.S. Mint issue up to 350,000 silver dollar coins in 2010 commemorating disabled American Veterans. $10 surcharges for each coin are to help build an American Veterans’ Disabled for Life Memorial in Washington, D.C.
"More and more of our brave men and women are returning home with injuries that will affect them for the rest of their lives," Congressman Moore said.
"While we can never fully communicate our gratitude for their service and sacrifice, this memorial is an important step. I am proud our government has stepped up to honor these heroes and their contributions to America.
"We owe everything to the thousands of disabled veterans who risked all in the service of our nation," Congressman Kirk said.
"As a naval reserve officer, I am honored to join with Congressman Moore to recognize these heroes with a suitable memorial near the Capitol. The funds that the new coins will generate will allow us to appropriately thank our veterans with a lasting monument in Washington."
The Memorial is to be built on a two-acre site adjacent to the National Mall and within full view of the U.S. Capital. It will be the nation’s first physical tribute specifically honoring America’s disabled veterans.
Lois Pope, Co-Founder and Chairman of the Disabled Veterans’ LIFE Memorial Foundation, joined Kirk and Moore in praising the coin bill’s passage. He commented that the coin bill:
"Enables the Disabled Veterans’ LIFE Memorial Foundation to touch the lives of many individuals as we continue our mission of building the nation’s first Memorial in Washington, D.C., honoring the sacrifices of the 3 million living disabled American veterans, and all those who have passed before them."
There is much left to do before the Memorial becomes reality. In a sobering situation, the foundation has a history of spending much of the money donated to it on professional fund raising fees — 71.1% in FYE 2006 and 62.6% in FYE 2005.
It may be years before the needed $65 million plus is collected solely for construction of the Memorial.