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Sean Patrick Maloney

12/04/2021 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 12/05/2021 10:05

Maloney Unveils Purple Heart Commemorative Coins at Event with Local Veterans

Wappingers Falls, NY - Today, Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney (NY-18) joined local veterans and leaders from the National Purple Heart Honor Mission and Purple Heart Hall of Honor at the Castle Point VA to unveil the design of the Purple Heart Commemorative Coins which will be produced as a result of Rep. Maloney's bill, The National Purple Heart Hall of Honor Commemorative Coin Act.

"We can never do enough to thank the veterans who put their lives on the line to protect and defend our nation. But, we can ensure their service and sacrifices are never forgotten. That is why, for years, I have led the effort create the Purple Heart Commemorative Coins, which will ensure our veterans stories are preserved for generations to come," said Rep. Maloney. "Today, we finally unveiled the design of the Purple Heart Commemorative Coins which will forever honor the service of America's Purple Heart recipients and support the critical work done at the National Purple Heart Hall of Honor to tell their stories. I am proud that New York's 18th Congressional District is leading the way in honoring our veterans as we are home to both the National Purple Heart Hall of Honor and the West Point Mint where the coins will be produced."

"The Purple Heart Commemorative Coins unveiled today - like the Purple Heart awarded to our nation's heroes-will honor the profound sacrifices that our service members pay for our freedom while in the line of duty. Recognizing the Hudson Valley's rich history, the U.S Mint at West Point will embrace the National Purple Heart Hall of Honor's mission by producing coins to commemorate all those that have sacrificed so much to defend the greatest country on earth," said Senator Schumer. "I was proud to lead the National Purple Heart Honor Mission Commemorative Coin Act to passage in the Senate earlier this year and thank Representative Maloney, the National Purple Heart Honor Mission, and all of the Hudson Valley veterans who worked tirelessly to make this day possible."

Rep. Maloney was joined by local veterans and leaders. Among those who spoke or stood in support were:

  • Retired Corporal Richie Lay, Board Chairman, National Purple Heart Honor Mission
  • Retired ANC 1st Lt. Edie Meeks, Board Secretary, National Purple Heart Honor Mission
  • Stephanie Keegan, Legislative Director, Purple Heart Hall of Honor
  • Retired Major General Glenn Lesniak, Chair, SASB
  • Andee Hidalgo, Veteran, Owner of Spearhead Construction
  • Peggy Kent, Member 2 years, SASB
  • Retired Major Beau Pendergraft
  • Shara Abraham, Staff Attorney, Legal Services for Veterans and Military
  • Lou Liotti, Former Naval Officer, Auxiliarist, U.S. Coast Guard
  • Jeff Lewis, Retired Air Force
  • Debbie Edelen, USMA 1992
  • Joe Colombo, Chief of Plans and Operations at West Point
  • Retired Colonel Glenn Goldman, Senior Civilian Advisor at CAPE
  • Jay Jaffee, Retired, NY Air National Guard, Employee, West Point Mint
  • Robert Anderson, Adjunct Professor, SUNY Maritime College
  • Retired Colonel Bob Philips, Consultant, UN Org & Gov Foundations
  • Retired Marine Corp. James Maxwell

Livestream footage from the event, featuring remarks by all speakers can be found on Rep. Maloney's Facebook page. See below for some highlights from those remarks:

"Today is truly a historic day and what a great place for us to unveil these coins. These coins are befitting Purple Heart recipients. They were done out of love. They were done out of care. And they were done out of dedication to honoring all those that received the Purple Heart," said Retired CorporalRichie Lay, Board Chairman of the National Purple Heart Honor Mission."We have to thank the artists and the people who did this at the Mint. But there's one person and one person only, and he's in the back of me. […] We did it and we did it because of his tenacity. So now, Congressman 'bulldog' Maloney, we thank you."

"To do this work, to get these coins, to honor our Purple Heart recipients of our military is something that I am so extraordinarily proud to have done. And we couldn't have done it without Sean," said Stephanie Keegan, Legislative Director of the Purple Heart Hall of Honor.

"These guys and gals, now, really are my kids. They're mine. And I want them to have the best. They gave the best. And they deserve to come and heal. And this last group that we had, it was so amazing to see the healing that happened - just them talking to each other, just the places that we went. It was amazing," said Retired 1st Lt. Edie Meeks, Board Secretary of the National Purple Heart Honor Mission. "So with the funds that we get from these coins, we're going to keep doing this. And we're going to keep blessing all of these people that gave so much."

Background on Rep. Maloney's Legislation, The National Purple Heart Hall of Honor Commemorative Coin Act:

The National Purple Heart Hall of Honor Commemorative Coin Act was signed into law on December 22, 2020.

The law authorizes the U.S. Treasury to mint $5 gold coins, $1 silver coins, and half-dollar clad coins at the United States Mint at West Point for the 2022 year. After production costs are recouped by the U.S. Treasury, proceeds from sales of the coin will be directed to the National Purple Heart Hall of Honor.

The Purple Heart is one of the oldest and most recognized American military medals, awarded to service members who were killed or wounded by enemy action. The National Purple Heart Hall of Honor's mission is to collect and preserve the stories of Purple Heart recipients from all branches of service and across generations to ensure that all recipients are remembered and serves as a living memorial to their sacrifice.

The National Purple Heart Hall of Honor is operated by the New York-New Jersey Palisades Interstate Park Commission. The hall's work is supported by the National Purple Heart Honor Mission, a 501c3 nonprofit organization whose goal is to honor America's Purple Heart recipients, through various outreach and educational programs, including promoting visitation at the Hall of Honor. The National Purple Heart Honor Mission also undertakes other forms of outreach to honor the nation's estimated two million Purple Heart recipients, such as the Purple Heart Patriot Project that brings Purple Heart recipients from across the country to the New York for a multi-day tribute program.

Photos from the press conference are available here.