WASHINGTON – In letters today to Postmaster General Megan Brennan and the Citizens’ Stamp Advisory Committee, U.S. Senators Joni Ernst (R-IA) and Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) requested issuance of a Forever Stamp to honor the service and sacrifice of Gold Star Families.

Ernst and Blumenthal introduced bipartisan legislation in 2016 and 2017 to establish the stamp. U.S. Representative Elizabeth Esty (D-CT) introduced similar legislation in the House of Representatives. Although Congress may approve the issuance of specific stamps, the Postmaster General also has the authority to issue a stamp.

“For more than 80 years, Gold Star Families have personified the very essence of grit, resolve, and perseverance, while working tirelessly to improve the lives of others who share their unique sacrifice. Permanently honoring Gold Star Families with a Forever Stamp would have widespread national appeal and significance, reaching Americans beyond the population personified by such a stamp,” Ernst and Blumenthal wrote to the Citizens’ Stamp Advisory Committee. 

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 USS 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. This is the only time that a special series commemorative stamp was issued pursuant to legislation.

Full text of the letters is copied below. A link to the letter to Postmaster General Megan Brennan can be found here. Link to the Citizens’ Stamp Advisory Committee can be found here.


July 3, 2018

 

The Honorable Megan Brennan

Postmaster General and Chief Executive Officer

United States Postal Service

475 L’Enfant Plaza, SW

Washington, DC  20590

 

Dear Postmaster General Megan Brennan:

As you consider recommendations from the Citizens’ Stamp Advisory Committee for new Forever Stamps in 2021 and beyond, we request that the United States Postal Service (USPS) use its authority to issue a Forever Stamp to honor Gold Star Families. As Postmaster General, you have the unique opportunity to pay tribute to the families of fallen servicemembers in your selection of the appropriate subject to honor with the issuance of a Forever Stamp. We ask that you use this authority to issue a Forever Stamp to recognize to Gold Star Families.

Enclosed please find our letter to the Citizens’ Stamp Advisory Committee, which details our request. We appreciate your attention to this matter and look forward to working together to memorialize the extraordinary service and sacrifice of our Gold Star Families.

Sincerely,

 

 

 

July 3, 2018

 

 

Citizens' Stamp Advisory Committee
475 L’Enfant Plaza SW, Room 3300
Washington, DC 20260-3501

Dear Members of the Citizens’ Stamp Advisory Committee:

As you consider recommendations for new Forever Stamps in 2021 and beyond, we request that the United States Postal Service (USPS) use its authority to issue a Forever Stamp to honor the service and sacrifice of Gold Star Families. Specifically, we ask that the Citizens’ Stamp Advisory Committee pay tribute to the families of fallen servicemembers by prioritizing a Forever Stamp for Gold Star Families in your recommendations to the Postmaster General.

We understand that your Committee adheres to twelve criteria to determine the eligibility of subjects for commemoration on all U.S. stamps and stationary. Gold Star Families are exemplary candidates for this special recognition. For more than 80 years, Gold Star Families have personified the very essence of grit, resolve, and perseverance, while working tirelessly to improve the lives of others who share their unique sacrifice. Permanently honoring Gold Star Families with a Forever Stamp would have widespread national appeal and significance, reaching Americans beyond the population personified by such a stamp. 

There are few Americans more worthy of recognition than the men and women in uniform who died defending our country and the family members who honor their legacy. After nearly two decades of war in Iraq and Afghanistan, nearly 7,000 Americans have perished in combat. A Gold Star Families Forever Stamp would serve as a constant reminder of the brave men and women who fought throughout history to keep our country safe, and pay tribute to military families.

There is precedent for approving such a stamp. In 1947, President Harry S. Truman signed legislation into law to establish the first Gold Star Mothers stamp to commemorate those who lost loved ones during World War II. Unfortunately, this stamp was designated as a special series commemorative stamp, rather than a permanent stamp, and was eventually discontinued. Honoring Gold Star Families should not come with an expiration date. Although USPS has not yet re-issued a similar stamp, there is no better time to recognize the families who have tragically lost a loved one in combat. A forever stamp for Gold Star Families is a simple, straightforward cause that is worthy of USPS recognition.

Thank you for your consideration on this matter. We look forward to working with you to ensure the legacy of Gold Star Families will be honored in years to come.

Sincerely,