Centennial Commission helps roll out USPS stamp honoring America's WWII Veterans
By Chris Isleib
Director of Public Affairs, United States World War One Centennial Commission
WASHINGTON, DC — A tiny grass-roots campaign that started, in part, with the fledgling U.S. World War I Centennial Commission in 2013, has finally brought the rollout of a new U.S. Postal Service stamp to honor America's World War I veterans.
The new stamp, named by the U.S. Postal Service as "The WWI: Turning the Tide Forever Stamp", was offered to the public in a first-day-of-issue dedication ceremony hosted at the National WWI Museum and Memorial in Kansas City, MO.
Dr. Matthew Naylor, CEO of the National WWI Museum and Memorial, welcomed guests during the public ceremony and applauded the Postal Service's new stamp. "This is a fitting tribute, because it helps to tell a more complete World War I story. It was created in honor of the sacrifices of countless Americans—including those millions of supporters on the home front."
In addition to his role at the National WWI Museum and Memorial, Dr. Naylor is also a Commissioner with the U.S. World War I Centennial Commission. Fellow Commissioner Debra Anderson, VFW Quartermaster, provided remarks for the attendees about the stamp's origins.
Commissioner Anderson discussed the original effort to gain support for the stamp. "We were proud to help the effort. We knocked on as many doors as we could, and wrote as many letters as we could, to help these veterans to be remembered. We are thrilled that the Postal Service has chosen to provide them with this honor".
U.S. Congressman Emanuel Cleaver, II (D-MO) agreed. He was an early supporter of the effort, and provided critical help and sponsorship. “I am grateful that the United States Postal Service (USPS) has chosen to honor our World War I veterans in such a way that will forever be marked in history. The USPS has a history of memorializing significant historical events, and now we can add the World War I stamp to its impressive collection. Each time we look upon this stamp, it will be a reminder of those who served and gave so much during World War I. My thanks to Congressmen Ted Poe (R-TX), and Congressman Doug Lamborn (R-CO) and the U.S. World War I Centennial Commission, who worked with me to cultivate this historic moment.”
Rep. Lamborn, Rep. Poe, and Rep. Cleaver, have been champions for the Centennial Commission, and for other efforts to remember the American men and women who served in World War I.
All three were sponsors, and key supporters, of the legislation that created the U.S. Mint's 2018 World War I Commemorative Silver Dollar. The sales of that commemorative silver dollar help to fund the World War I Centennial Commission, and the new National World War I Memorial being created in the nation's capital.
Information on the new stamp can be found on the U.S. Postal Service webpage: https://about.usps.com/news/national-releases/2018/pr18_ma042.htm
Information on the U.S. Mint's 2018 WWI Commemorative Silver Dollar can be of here: www.WW1CC.org/Coin
The Centennial Commission is a Congressional Commission, but it is funded, in large part, by private donations. Founding sponsor for the U.S. World War I Centennial Commission is the Pritzker Military Museum & Library, in Chicago. Other major supporters include the Starr Foundation, the Diana Davis Spencer Foundation, The Richard Lounsbery Foundation, General Motors, Huntington Ingalls Industries, the S. D. Bechtel, Jr. Foundation, The Veterans of Foreign Wars, and The American Legion.
The Commission plans to begin construction on the new National World War I Memorial in Washington DC early next year. The Memorial will be built exclusively with private funds.
For more information about the Memorial project and to donate to the Memorial design and construction, visit www.ww1cc.org/memorial.