WASHINGTON (Army News Service, Dec. 30, 2008) - President George W. Bush signed into law the "United States Army Commemorative Coin Act of 2008" on Dec. 1, authorizing the creation of a series of commemorative coins to recognize and celebrate the establishment of the United States Army in 1775, and to honor the service and sacrifice of American Soldiers of both past and present, in wartime and in peace.

These will be the first U.S. coins ever issued to celebrate and honor the Army and its 234 year heritage. The U.S. Mint will work on six coin designs, front and back with the Army Historical Foundation. Coins will be minted and sold during 2011 and come in a $5 gold piece, a silver dollar and a copper-clad half dollar. An estimated $10-$12 million of the sales revenues will help fund the National Museum of the United States Army slated for construction at Fort Belvoir, Va.

"The Commemorative Coin Act will help raise the revenue needed to build a museum dedicated to the men and women who have for so long protected the sovereignty and freedom of our country," said Senator James M. Inhofe of Oklahoma. "The museum will serve to commemorate the enormous sacrifice of our Soldiers and will be a symbol of the Army's dedication to the fight for freedom."

Designated in 2000 as the Army's primary partner in building the museum, the Army Historical Foundation led the drive to establish the Army Commemorative Coins.

"Passage of the commemorative coin legislation has been the only legislative priority of the Army Historical Foundation over the past twelve months, and we are very pleased to announce the success of this initiative," said retired Brig. Gen. Creighton W. Abrams AHF executive director. "These coins will be beautiful mementos of past service for veterans, and will make appropriate gifts for retired veterans and currently serving Soldiers alike,"

(Nick Rhinehart writes for the Army Historical Foundation)