Mar 13, 2014 1:33 PM by Faye DeHoff
HONOLULU - The U.S. Postal Service today honored the USS Arizona with the dedication of a Priority Mail Express stamp.
The USS Arizona shrine pays tribute to the 1,177 sailors who lost their lives Dec. 7, 1941, when a bomb striking an ammunitions store caused it to detonate during the attack on Pearl Harbor.
"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 U.S. Postal Service Information Technology Vice President John Edgar in dedicating the stamp. "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."
The stamp artwork features an illustration of the white concrete memorial on the Hawaiian island of Oahu rising above the sunken ship in the shape of a bridge. Depicted under a sunny sky and bright clouds with an American flag fluttering overhead, the memorial is mirrored by its own reflection on the water below. Designed by art director Phil Jordan of Falls Church, VA, the stamp showcases the work of illustrator Dan Cosgrove of Chicago, IL.
"Let this stamp serve as a small reminder of the sacrifices made by the brave sailors who gave their lives here," added Edgar. "Let this stamp achieve the same goal as the memorial it depicts - to always remember the Arizona."
Joining Edgar in dedicating the stamp were U.S. Sen. (ret.) Daniel K. Akaka; U.S. Navy Rear Adm. Richard Williams, USN; Hawaii State Rep. K. Mark Takai; World War II Valor in the Pacific National Monument Superintendent Paul DePrey and U.S. Postal Service Honolulu District Manager Greg Wolny.
"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."
The Arizona's remains and those entombed in her now rest in Pearl Harbor. The Arizona memorial rises above the ship itself, surrounded by the rainbow-streaked oil that continues to leak from the ship's hull. Ultimately, the memorial marks not only the end of more than a thousand lives, but the entry of the United States into World War II. According to Daniel A. Martinez, chief historian at World War II Valor in the Pacific National Monument at Pearl Harbor, tensions between the two nations were running high when, at 6 a.m. Sun., Dec. 7, six Japanese aircraft carriers launched the first wave of 183 planes. A total of 350 planes were used in the surprise attack on the Hawaiian island of Oahu. Among their targets was the USS Arizona, a battleship anchored in Pearl Harbor. The ship was built at the New York Navy Yard in Brooklyn and commissioned in October 1916.
The USS Arizona Memorial Priority Mail Express stamp is available in sheets of 10 and also may be purchased individually for $19.99. Customers may purchase the stamps at usps.com/stamps , at 800-STAMP24 (800-782-6724), at Post Offices nationwide or at ebay.com/stamps .
Ordering First-Day-of-Issue Postmarks Customers have 60 days to obtain the first-day-of-issue postmark by mail. They may purchase new stamps at local Post Offices, at usps.com/stamps <http://www.usps.com/stamps> or by calling 800-STAMP-24. They should affix the stamps to envelopes of their choice, address the envelopes to themselves or others and place them in larger envelopes addressed to:
USS Arizona Memorial Cancellations
3600 Aolele Street
Honolulu, HI 96820-9661
After applying the first-day-of-issue postmark, the Postal Service will return the envelopes through the mail. There is no charge for the postmark up to a quantity of 50. For more than 50, there is a 5-cent charge per postmark. All orders must be postmarked by May 13, 2014. Ordering First-Day Covers The Postal Service also offers first-day covers for new stamp issues and Postal Service stationery items postmarked with the official first-day-of-issue cancellation. Each item has an individual catalog number and is offered in the quarterly USA Philatelic catalog online at usps.com/shop <https://store.usps.com/store/> or by calling 800-782-6724. Customers may request a free catalog by calling 800-782-6724 or writing to:
U.S. Postal Service Catalog Request
PO Box 219014
Kansas City, MO 64121-9014
Customers may view the USS Arizona Memorial Priority Mail Express stamp, as well as many of this year's other stamps, on Facebook at facebook.com/USPSStamps <http://www.facebook.com/uspsstamps>, on Twitter @USPSstamps <http://www.twitter.com/uspsstamps> or on the website uspsstamps.com <http://www.uspsstamps.com>, the Postal Service's online site for information on upcoming stamp subjects, first-day-of-issue events and other philatelic news.