Bill supports efforts to memorialize stories of US veterans wounded or killed in action
Congressman Brian Higgins announced approval of the National Purple Heart Hall of Honor Commemorative Coin Act. Higgins is an original cosponsor of the bipartisan bill, which provides resources to preserve the stories of U.S. veterans who earned a Purple Heart medal.
Higgins said, “Over the years, we have had the distinct honor of working with many Purple Heart recipients and their families. They are incredibly humble, selfless and brave. Hearing their stories provides a greater understanding of the sacrifices made by veterans and their families and a greater appreciation for the gifts their commitment provides to every American from this generation to the next.”
In 2015, Higgins’ office worked with local veterans on a massive project that added the names of 280 Vietnam veterans from Western New York who were killed in action to the National Purple Heart Hall of Honor.
The National Purple Heart Hall of Honor Commemorative Coin Act directs the U.S. Treasury to mint $5 gold coins, $1 silver coins, and half-dollar clad coins at the U.S. Mint at West Point. Proceeds from the sale of the coins will benefit the National Purple Heart Hall of Honor, a nonprofit established in New Windsor, New York, in 2002 dedicated to paying tribute to the sacrifices of Purple Heart medal recipients. The Hall of Honor also hosts a searchable website available to the public at www.thepurpleheart.com.
Jim Schaller, Military Order of the Purple Heart Chapter 187 adjutant, said, “As a Purple Heart recipient of the Vietnam War, I am honored that the National Purple Heart Hall of Honor Commemorative Coin Act is moving forward in the House and soon to the desk of the president to be signed into law. Nothing is more admirable than to acknowledge the sacrifices of the men and women who have shed their blood on foreign soil protecting the freedoms that we all enjoy. The proceeds from the sale of the coins will benefit the nonprofit organization dedicated to honoring these brave men and women. That is a wonderful tribute and, on behalf of all Purple Heart recipients, both living and deceased, thank you to Congressman Higgins for your continued efforts on our behalf.”
The legislation, supported by the Military Order of the Purple Heart, Gold Star Wives of America, Vietnam Veterans of America and several other veteran organizations, passed in the Senate in November and will now move to the president’s desk to be signed into law.
In recent years, Higgins has worked with local families to secure more than 55 Purple Heart medals lost, stolen or never received. For more information on obtaining missing Purple Heart medals or entering Purple Heart recipients into the National Purple Heart Hall of Honor, contact Higgins’ Buffalo office at 716-852-3501.