S.1596 – Greatest Generation Memorial Act Passes Senate Unanimously

The United States Senate has passed S.1596, the Greatest Generation Memorial Act. The new coin legislation was introduced and passed within days in the Senate, a rare event in the Senate or House of Representatives. The bill, which was introduced by Senator Mike Rounds (R-SD) on May 12, 2022 and passed the Senate just a few days later on May 16, 2022, was pass unanimously by the Senate. The bill is now going to the House of Representatives for consideration and voting.

You can read the legislation here and can sign up to get updates on its progress.

(1) The National World War II Memorial was dedicated in Washington, DC, on May 29, 2004, and is located on the east end of the Reflecting Pool on the National Mall, opposite the Lincoln Memorial and west of the Washington Monument.

(2) The dedication of the National World War II Memorial was the culmination of a 17-year effort that started on December 10, 1987 when the World War II Memorial Act was first introduced in the House of Representatives, and was authorized by an Act of Congress signed into law on May 25, 1993. Construction began September 4, 2001, after several years of fundraising and public hearings. 

(3) Opening to the public on April 29, 2004, 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.

(4) The Memorial honors the more than 16,000,000 who served in the Armed Forces of the United States during World War II, the more than 400,000 who died, and the millions who supported the war effort from home.

(5) It is a monument to the spirit, sacrifice, and commitment of the American people to the common defense of the Nation and to the broader causes of peace and freedom from tyranny throughout the world.

(6) 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 to a grateful Nation’s remembrance of the sacrifices made by the World War II generation.

(7) For World War II veterans, the Memorial is a special destination, a rendezvous point, and a gathering place for reunions and commemoration programs.

(8) The Friends of the National World War II Memorial play a vital role in the preservation and maintenance of the National World War II Memorial as a treasure for the American people, while helping to facilitate key commemorative and educational programs at the Memorial to pay tribute to America’s “Greatest Generation” and their efforts to preserve liberty for generations to come.

(9) The National World War II 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 at once united and bonded together in a common and just cause for liberty.

S.1596 – Greatest Generation Memorial Act

As for the legislation it self, the bill calls the minting of up to 50,000 $5 gold coins, 400,000 $1 silver coins, and 750,000 clad half-dollar coins to commemorate the National World War II Memorial in Washington, D.C.. There will be a $35 surcharge per gold coin, $10 per silver coin and $5 per clad coin that will be paid to the Friends of the National World War II Memorial to help with maintenance and upkeep of the memorial.

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