Blumenthal & Ernst Introduce Bill to Establish “Gold Star” Stamp, Honoring the Sacrifice of Families Who Have Lost a Loved One in Combat
Feb 16 2017
WASHINGTON, D.C. –U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) and U.S. Senator Joni Ernst (R-IA) introduced bipartisan legislation to issue the “Gold Star” stamp recognizing and honoring families who have lost a child or family member in service to the nation. The U.S. Post Office Department first issued a stamp honoring Gold Star Mothers in 1948. Blumenthal and Ernst first introduced this legislation last year.
“The resolve, resilience, and grit of Gold Star Families are remarkable beyond words, and their extraordinary contributions after devastating loss are beyond measure. Although we cannot fully repay these national heroes, reissuing the Gold Star Stamp is a small token of our gratitude and a constant reminder for not only their sacrifice and loss, but the comfort they selflessly provide others in times of despair. Their courageous example of service and sacrifice is an inspiration to all,” said Senator Blumenthal.
“There is no greater grief than losing a child, spouse, or family member, and no greater sacrifice a family can make than losing their loved one in service to our country,” said Senator Ernst. “The Gold Star Families commemorative stamp is an opportunity to demonstrate our profound appreciation and respect for all of our fallen servicemembers’ families, and their sacrifices to our country. In my home state of Iowa, the Sullivan family of Waterloo lost five sons in 1942 when an enemy torpedo sank the cruiser all five were on during World War II. To honor their five sons’ courage and sacrifice, the first sheet of Gold Star Mothers commemorative stamps was presented to Mrs. Sullivan in 1948. It’s my honor to carry on the tradition by reintroducing the bipartisan Gold Star Families commemorative stamp to recognize our Gold Star Families, because no one has given more in service to our country than the families of the fallen.”
“It has been nearly 70 years since the release of the first and only postage stamp honoring Gold Star Families and remembering their personal family sacrifices. Since that time, our nation has been in multiple conflicts, sacrificing Sons and Daughters for the sake of freedom. Creation of the Gold Star Families Forever Stamp will help educate the general public that freedom is never free,” said Candy Martin, National President, American Gold Star Mothers, Inc.
In 1947, President Harry S. Truman signed into law legislation establishing the first Gold Star Mothers stamp. The original Gold Star Mothers stamp became available on September 21, 1948. The first sheet of stamps was presented to Mrs. Thomas F. Sullivan of Waterloo, Iowa, who lost five sons when an enemy torpedo sank the cruiser Juneau on November 13, 1942.
Because the Gold Star Mothers stamp was designated as a special series commemorative stamp, rather than a permanent stamp, it was eventually discontinued. In 1993, a “Gold Star Loss” stamp was issued as part of a series of stamps marking the 50th anniversary of World War II.