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Pass the Commemorative Coin Act.

We've seen it time and again: one chamber in Congress passes a bill with overwhelming support, yet it gets bogged down on the other side of Capitol Hill. Unfortunately, that's what has happened to legislation that would help raise valuable funding for the American Veterans Disabled for Life Memorial.

The Senate version of the American Veterans Disabled for Life Commemorative Coin Act (S.633) passed by unanimous consent this summer. The House companion bill (H.R.1951) has 201 co-sponsors, yet the measure has been stalled in the Subcommittee on Domestic and International Monetary Policy, Trade and Technology.

Introduced in the Senate in March 2005 by Senator Tim Johnson (D-S.D.) and in the House in April 2005 by Representative Sue Kelly (R-N.Y.), the measure would authorize the Treasury Department to mint commemorative silver dollar coins and allocate the surcharge proceeds from their sale to the memorial. This important legislation is designed to provide another avenue for raising funds to complete the construction of the memorial. The estimated total cost of the memorial is over $60 million.

When completed, the memorial will be a solemn declaration that America honors and reveres the sacrifices of disabled veterans. It will be a reminder to future generations that courage and duty and honor are not lost values. And with so many Americans serving and sacrificing in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere, we believe such a reminder is, unfortunately, very necessary.

Since it was authorized by Congress in 2000, the memorial has cleared a number of hurdles needed to become a reality. The site has been selected and approved. The design concept was accepted by the National Capital Planning Commission and the Commission of Fine Arts in 2004. The next hurdle is the design approval process.

With the fundraising and construction ongoing, it is anticipated that the memorial will be dedicated in 2010.

DAV Departments, Chapters and our individual members have really been generous with their donations, as have other veterans service organizations and private citizens. The campaign for corporate support is underway and gaining momentum.

But urgent action is needed to help ensure passage of the American Veterans Disabled for Life Commemorative Coin Act before the 109th Congress adjourns. DAV members and their families are urged to contact your Representative now and ask them to support H.R. 1951.

To find out if your Representative is a co-sponsor of the bill or to send an e-mail message urging support for the American Veterans Disabled for Life Commemorative Coin Act, visit the Legislative Action Center on the DAV Web site

By supporting the American Veterans Disabled for Life Commemorative Coin Act Congress will be recognizing the veterans who have courageously answered our country's call and who now carry the scars of war every day. The measure will honor their sacrifices and will help us realize our goal of building the American Veterans Disabled for Life Memorial.

As advocates for disabled veterans, I believe we have a duty to make sure the American public understands and honors the sacrifices made by disabled veterans for our country. And those sacrifices represent the cost of freedom, a price that disabled veterans and their families continue to pay every day for the rest of their lives. The coin and the memorial will help us accomplish that mission.
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Title Annotation:from the NATIONAL ADJUTANT
Author:Wilson, Arthur H.
Publication:DAV Magazine
Date:Nov 1, 2006
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