Springs association moves to create WWI coin

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The American Numismatic Association, headquartered in Colorado Springs, has launched an effort to create a World War I commemorative dollar coin.

The United States has honored the Civil War, World War II, the Korean War and the Vietnam War on U.S. commemorative coins. There isn’t yet a World War I coin, which led ANA Numismatic Education Rod Gillis to work to correct the oversight.

“It was really surprising to me that World War I veterans were never honored with their own coin,” Gillis said. “This legislation will help give these veterans proper recognition.”

Gillis started his effort two years ago, and enlisted the help of U.S. Rep. Doug Lamborn, a Republican from Colorado Springs. Lamborn is sponsoring House Resolution 4107, a legislative act that will create the coin. There isn’t a Senate sponsor for the bill yet.

Under the proposed law, the coin would be minted in 2017 to commemorate the 100th anniversary of America’s participation in World War I. The United States formally declared war against Germany and entered the conflict in Europe on April 6, 1917. More than

4 million U.S. men and women served in uniform during World War I, and more than 2 million American soldiers served overseas.

For every coin sold, a surcharge would go to the World War I Memorial Foundation in Washington, D.C. This group was founded after Frank Buckles, the last surviving American World War I veteran, visited the District of Columbia War Memorial on the National Mall in March 2008.

“The new memorial will honor all World War I veterans and make Frank Buckles’ dream a reality,” said Gillis, who is currently working to secure a sponsor for the bill in the U.S. Senate.

The ANA is asking people to contact their congressional representatives to support the bill. Contact information can be found at www.house.gov/representatives/.

For answers about the proposed coin, call Gillis at 482-9845 or email gillis@money.org.