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Bill calls for silver WWI commem

Commemorative silver dollars honoring American World War I veterans are called for by legislation introduced Feb. 29 in the U.S. House of Representatives by Rep. Doug Lamborn of Colorado.

If passed the coins would be issued in 2017 and also mark the centennial of the entry by America into the “War to End All Wars” against Germany and its Central Powers Allies, the Austro-Hungarian Empire and the Turkish Ottoman Empire.

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Already the American Numismatic Association, the 28,000-member national collector organization headquartered in Colorado Springs, Colo., has endorsed the measure.

An unusual provision of the legislation calls for a design competition to determine what will be featured on the obverse and reverse of the coin. A minimum $5,000 prize is stipulated.

Surcharge would be the standard $10 on the silver dollar and proceeds would go to the World War I Memorial Foundation.

This group, the ANA notes, “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.

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“Buckles observed that this memorial – dedicated in 1931 to the 499 District of Columbia residents who gave their lives in that war – sat neglected and in extreme disrepair. Noting that there is no national World War I memorial, he issued a call for the memorial’s restoration and re-dedication as a National and District of Columbia World War I Memorial.”

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