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U.S. Postal Service Honors USS Arizona Memorial With Commemorative Stamp

The battleship USS Arizona is synonymous with the Dec. 7, 1941 Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. The death of 1,177 sailors and Marines aboard her has been commemorated since Memorial Day, 1962, by the USS Arizona Memorial. Now, as the 100th anniversary of the keel laying of the USS Arizona approaches on March 16, both the ship and the memorial will be honored by a commemorative U.S. Postal Service (USPS) stamp, according to a USPS release.

The artwork of the stamp is composed of an illustration of the white concrete memorial rising above the sunken Arizona in the shape of a bridge. Underneath the sunny sky and bright clouds is a fluttering American flag flying over the memorial. The memorial is mirrored by its reflection in the waters of Pearl Harbor.

Designed by art director Phil Jordan of Falls Church, Va., the stamp is the work of illustrator Dan Cosgrove of Chicago, Ill. The artwork of the stamp is composed of an illustration of the white concrete memorial rising above the sunken Arizona in the shape of a bridge. Underneath the sunny sky and bright clouds is a fluttering American flag flying over the memorial. The memorial is mirrored by its reflection in the waters of Pearl Harbor.

USS Arizona

The USS Arizona (BB 39) passes the 96th Street pier, New York City, N.Y., ca. 1918. The Arizona‘s keel was laid on March 16, 1914, and she entered U.S. Navy service on Oct. 17, 1916. National Archives photo

The $19.99 Priority Mail Express stamp was unveiled at a ceremony at the Pearl Harbor Visitor Center in Honolulu, Hawaii. On hand at the ceremony were former U.S. Sen. Daniel K. Akaka; U.S. Navy Rear Adm. Richard Williams, commander, Navy Region Hawaii and Naval Surface Group Middle Pacific; Hawaii State Rep. K. Mark Takai; World War II Valor in the Pacific National Monument Superintendent Paul DePrey; and USPS Honolulu District Manager Greg Wolny. “Today, nearly 100 years to the day that the Navy laid the keel to begin construction of the Arizona, we gather to pay tribute to its final resting spot,” said USPS Information Technology Vice President John Edgar. The USPS recognizes that due to cost and distance this may be the closet they come to visiting the USS Arizona Memorial. “Not everyone will have an opportunity to visit Hawaii and see this memorial in person. But with this stamp, they’ll be able to see what it looks like and be reminded of what it stands for,” added Edgar.

“Not everyone will have an opportunity to visit Hawaii and see this memorial in person. But with this stamp, they’ll be able to see what it looks like and be reminded of what it stands for.”

In a post on Navy Live, the official blog of the U.S. Navy, Rear Adm. Williams discussed just what the stamp represents. “We are extremely fortunate to share the USS Arizona Memorial stamp commemoration ceremony March 13 with living monuments – brave warriors who survived the attack of December 7, 1941, and who fought across the Pacific in World War II. Several Pearl Harbor survivors are among the veterans attending the ceremony,” wrote Williams. More than 70 years after the Pearl Harbor attack, the Arizona and the sacrifice of her sailors and Marines is still being remembered. “This week’s ceremony is another example of the Navy’s, Hawaii’s and our nation’s commitment to remember Pearl Harbor and preserve the enduring legacy of peace that the USS Arizona Memorial represents,” said Williams.

USS Arizona Memorial

A Pearl Harbor survivor salutes the USS Arizona Memorial during a wreath laying ceremony at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii, June 4, 2012. U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Dustin W. Sisco

The USS Arizona Memorial has become in some ways larger than the attack on Pearl Harbor, and in many ways has to come to represent the entirety of the U.S. effort in World War II. “The USS Arizona Memorial stamp will help Americans remember the toll of war, the sacrifice of our service members and the end of conflict,” said DePrey. “The memorial is an iconic structure symbolizing both loss and contemplation. By dedicating this stamp, we are continuing to bear witness to history,” added DePrey.

“The memorial is an iconic structure symbolizing both loss and contemplation. By dedicating this stamp, we are continuing to bear witness to history.”

The stamp is likely to be popular with collectors. The commemorative USS Arizona Memorial Priority Mail Express stamp will be available in sheets of 10 and can also be purchased individually. Interested customers have 60 days to obtain the first-day-of-issue postmark by mail.  The stamp will be available at local post offices, at usps.com/stamps, or by calling 800-STAMP-24 (800-782-6724), and at ebay.com/stamps.

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Steven Hoarn is the Editor/Photo Editor for Defense Media Network. He is a graduate of...