Lawmakers Call for 'Forever' Purple Heart Stamp
Clinton and King Lead Effort to Make Stamp Permanent
Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-NY) and Congressman Peter King (R-NY) today led a bipartisan coalition of Senators and Representatives in urging the U.S. Postal Service's Citizens' Stamp Advisory Committee to recommend that the Postmaster General issue the Purple Heart stamp on a permanent basis as a forever stamp. In a letter sent today, the lawmakers underscored that a Purple Heart forever stamp would be an enduring tribute to those Americans who have received the Purple Heart. A 42-cent Purple Heart stamp went on sale in May, but its status is vulnerable to future fluctuations in the postage rate.
The call for a permanent stamp was supported by Senators Ted Stevens (R-AK), Jim Webb (D-VA), Robert Menendez (D-NJ), Bill Nelson (D-FL), Chuck Hagel (R-NE), Blanche Lincoln (D-AR), Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Roger Wicker (R-MS), Barbara Boxer (D-CA), Norm Coleman (R-MN), Elizabeth Dole (R-NC), Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), and 80 members of the House.
"In light of the ongoing conflicts in which our nation's troops are engaged, we believe that issuing a Purple Heart forever stamp is a fitting way of honoring more than 1.7 million members of the Armed Forces who have received the Purple Heart throughout our nation's history. Such a stamp will serve as a constant recognition of their sacrifice, and ensure their efforts are never forgotten," the lawmakers wrote.
The effort drew quick praise from veterans' advocates.
"I thank Senator Clinton from the bottom of my heart on behalf of all combat-wounded veterans for her persistence and diligence in advocating for the Perpetual Purple Heart Stamp," said Henry J. Cook III, National Commander of the Military Order of the Purple Heart.
Senator Clinton and Congressman King have introduced companion bills in both chambers of Congress that would require the Postal Service to issue the Purple Heart stamp on a permanent basis as a forever stamp.
The 42-cent stamp that went on sale nationally in May is the fourth issue of the Purple Heart definitive postage stamp, which was first issued on May 30, 2003.
The text of the Senators' letter is below.
July 10, 2008
Citizens' Stamp Advisory Committee
c/o Stamp Development
United States Postal Service
1735 North Lynn Street, Suite 5013
Arlington, VA 22209-6432
Dear Members of the Citizens' Stamp Advisory Committee:
We are writing to respectfully ask the Citizens' Stamp Advisory Committee to recommend to the Postmaster General the issuance of a Purple Heart Forever Stamp, resembling the current Purple Heart Stamp, but without denomination. The Purple Heart Forever Stamp will recognize the Purple Heart as a symbol of freedom honoring our brave service members and their sacrifices for our nation. The stamp has strong bipartisan support from members of the United States Senate and House of Representatives, as well as the support of veterans groups.
In light of the ongoing conflicts in which our nation's troops are engaged, we believe that issuing a Purple Heart Forever Stamp is a fitting way of honoring more than 1.7 million members of the Armed Forces who have received the Purple Heart throughout our nation's history. Such a stamp will serve as a constant recognition of their sacrifice, and ensure their efforts are never forgotten.
The Perpetual Purple Heart Stamp Act (S.1390/H.R. 2303), which would require the creation of the stamp, is cosponsored by 14 senators and more than 140 representatives. It also has the support of the Military Order of the Purple Heart, the American Legion, and the Enlisted Association of the National Guard. The undersigned members of the United States Senate and House of Representatives ask you to support this request to honor our veterans by recommending the issuance of a Purple Heart Forever Stamp.