Warrensburg – More than three years after U.S. Sens. Roy Blunt and Claire McCaskill introduced the “World War I American Veterans Centennial Commemorative Coin Act,” which U.S. Rep. Emanuel Cleaver handled in the House, the U.S. Mint in Philadelphia struck the first coin in a ceremony.
The coin is designed to honor more than 4 million veterans who served in WWI and to recognize 2018 as the 100-year anniversary of the signing of the armistice with Germany, which effectively brought an end to WWI.
Missouri is home to the National World War I Museum in Kansas City, which is the only museum in the country dedicated solely to telling the story of World War I and global events between 1914 and 1918.
Blunt and McCaskill designed to legislation, in part, to provide any surplus from coin sales to go to the World War I Centennial Commission to execute programs, projects and activities recognizing the 100th anniversary of World War I.
Appointed by Congress, the Centennial Commission’s mission is public outreach and education about American involvement in the war.
Blunt participated Nov. 28 in the ceremonial strike of the 2018 World War I Centennial Silver Dollar. The coins are expected to become available for public purchase in January.
“Missouri is home to the National World War I Museum and Memorial, which is why I’m especially proud to see that history remembered on the World War I American Veterans Centennial Commemorative Coin,” Blunt stated during the ceremony. “Our nation is forever indebted to the millions of Americans who served our nation in World War I. I hope this tribute will encourage future generations to recognize their sacrifices and gain a better understanding of how the ‘war to end all wars’ has had lasting implications for the world we live in today.”
The design for the coin struck last month resulted from a competition held by the U.S. secretary of the treasury and a panel of judges elected by the World War I Centennial Commission.
The coin comes at no cost to taxpayers.
The Civil War, World War II, the Korean War and the Vietnam War all have been memorialized by U.S. commemorative coins, and in some cases, U.S. coins have honored particular war events, such as raising the flag at Iwo Jima and the Battle of Gettysburg, but before the legislation introduced by Blunt and McCaskill, no coin existed to honor those who served in WWI.