Letter to The Honorable John E. Potter, Postmaster General, Re: Issue Permanent Purple Heart Stamp
Lincoln Calls on Postal Service to Issue Permanent Purple Heart Stamp
U.S. Senator Blanche Lincoln (D-Ark.) has called on the United States Postal Service to issue the Purple Heart stamp on a permanent basis as a "forever" stamp. In a joint letter with Senators Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-NY), Robert Menendez (D-NJ), Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), Norm Coleman (R-MN), Chuck Hagel (R-NE) and Jim Webb (D-VA) to Postmaster General John E. Potter, Lincoln praised the reissuance of the Purple Heart stamp at the new 42-cent First Class rate and urged that the stamp be made permanent to honor servicemembers and veterans who have been awarded the Purple Heart.
"America's Purple Heart veterans deserve every honor we can bestow upon them for their sacrifice. A permanent Purple Heart forever stamp is a reminder for all Americans of their selfless sacrifice, and it is a recognition we should embrace," Senator Lincoln said.
"While I'm pleased that the Postal Service has reissued the Purple Heart stamp, I urge them to make the stamp permanent. The Purple Heart has honored generations of servicemembers who have paid an immeasurable price in defense of this nation. The Purple Heart stamp is a great tribute to their courage, and it is a tribute that should be as permanent as the service and sacrifices of those whom the stamp honors," said Senator Clinton.
Senator Menendez said, "The least we can do to show that we are forever grateful for the sacrifices of our nation's veterans is to make the Purple Heart stamp a forever' stamp. Every time you go to put a letter in the mailbox, you will be reminded of our nation's veterans and those wounded serving our country, who should never be forgotten."
"The Purple Heart stamp should serve as a lasting testament to honor the tremendous sacrifice of the men and women of our military," said Senator Brown. "Making it a forever' stamp guarantees that future generations can continue to pay tribute to our armed forces who put their lives on the line every day to keep us safe here at home."
"I urge the Postal Service to make the Purple Heart stamp permanent as a symbol of our lasting gratitude for members of the armed services who were injured or killed in action," said Senator Murkowski. "The Purple Heart stamp is a small, but visible and symbolic way we can remember and honor those who have served our nation selflessly."
"Throughout history, America's brave servicemen and women have made extraordinary sacrifices in the name of our freedom," said Senator Coleman. "Reissuing the Purple Heart stamp as a forever stamp would be an appropriate way to show our sincere gratitude for all they have done for us as a nation. As the son of a Purple Heart recipient, I know firsthand how much this commemoration would mean to America's servicemembers and their families."
"The men and women of our Armed Forces who have earned the Purple Heart are the heroes of our Republic. The permanent issuance of the Purple Heart stamp as a forever' stamp is an appropriate way to honor these servicemembers and veterans, and to serve as a symbol to future generations of the sacrifices made by others that helped build and strengthen the nation we live in today," said Senator Hagel.
"This is a most appropriate way to honor past and future recipients of our nation's oldest military decoration," said Senator Webb, a Marine combat veteran, who received two Purple Hearts during the Vietnam War.
Henry J. Cook III, National Commander of the Military Order of the Purple Heart stated that "MOPH appreciates the continuing efforts of Senator Clinton and other members of Congress who are working to make the Purple Heart Stamp a 'forever stamp.' With the ongoing conflicts and members of the military receiving the Purple Heart Medal for wounds or death on the battlefields, MOPH believes that the Purple Heart Stamp is one way that America can honor their sacrifices."
The 42-cent Purple Heart stamp, which is the fourth issue of the Purple Heart definitive postage stamp, went on sale nationally earlier this month. The Purple Heart stamp was first issued on May 30, 2003. The Senators all support the Perpetual Purple Heart Stamp Act, a measure introduced last year by Senator Clinton that would require the Postal Service to issue the stamp on a permanent basis as a "forever" stamp.
The text of the Senators' letter is below:
The Honorable John E. Potter
United States Postal Service
475 L'Enfant Plaza, SW
Dear Mr. Postmaster General:
As the Postal Service increases its rate for First-Class mail letters, we write to express our appreciation for the recent reissuance of the Purple Heart stamp at the new 42-cent rate and, more importantly, to reiterate our belief that the Postal Service should commit to issuing the Purple Heart stamp on a permanent basis as a "forever" stamp. Such a step would be an appropriate way to honor the servicemembers and veterans who have been awarded the Purple Heart for their extraordinary sacrifices in defense of democracy and freedom. In the Senate, we all support legislation introduced last year by Senator Clinton - the Perpetual Purple Heart Stamp Act - that would require the Postal Service to issue the stamp on a permanent basis as a "forever" stamp.
As you know, the Purple Heart medal is a combat decoration awarded to members of the Armed Forces - or their next of kin posthumously - who are wounded or killed by the enemy. The Purple Heart was first devised and awarded by George Washington in August 1782. At that time, it was known as the Badge of Military Merit. The Purple Heart was revived in 1932, on the 200th anniversary of Washington's birth, and has since been awarded to more than 1.5 million veterans of World War I, World War II, the Korean War, the Vietnam War, Operation Desert Storm, Operation Enduring Freedom, Operation Iraqi Freedom, and other expeditionary conflicts. The Purple Heart Stamp was first issued by the Postal Service on May 30, 2003. It has since been re-issued three times, in May 2006, June 2007, and, of course, most recently in April of this year.
With so many courageous American troops in harm's way in Afghanistan, Iraq and other parts of the world, we are all reminded of the extraordinary sacrifices that our nation's veterans have made in defense of democracy and freedom. Now is a particularly appropriate time to recognize and honor those Purple Heart recipients who have sacrificed so much on our behalf by committing to permanently issuing the Purple Heart stamp as a "forever" stamp.
Thank you for your consideration, and we look forward to hearing back.