The American Numismatic Association issued a press release yesterday endorsing a World War I commemorative program.
That struck me as odd.
I was not aware that the organization was even considering such an endorsement. I wasn’t aware that there was any kind of groundswell of member desire to support such a commemorative.
The endorsement just seems to have come out of the blue.
It did not exactly come out of the blue. An ANA employee is pushing the idea. That would explain the endorsement.
The release says ANA Numismatic Educator Rod Gillis is working to correct an oversight – that unlike other veterans from the Civil War to Vietnam, World War I veterans have not been honored.
It’s an honorable project and an honorable cause. Both of my grandfathers served “over there” in France in 1918 and one was wounded. I have his Purple Heart and the piece of shrapnel that had hit him.
I support the effort and I am glad to see the ANA making it.
However, supporters of other causes might rightly ask why this is worthy and their causes are not?
What should the ANA do when such questions arise?
The two extreme responses are for the ANA to endorse everything, or to endorse nothing. It would be sad to see either outcome in the future.
The ANA should endorse proposals from time to time, but the process of arriving at this conclusion should be made well known to all ANA members.
Whether this means giving an ANA committee the review function for endorsement proposals, or whether the full ANA board of governors should consider this at an open meeting with advance notices given beforehand for member input as has happened in other cases I will leave to the leadership to decide.
I know that raising a topic of this kind here might seem to be a less than useful quibble, but I think it is better to head off future problems – even small ones – before they become problems.