Uncle Sam’s Hat

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The Postal Service celebrates one of our country’s most popular patriotic characters with the release of Uncle Sam’s Hat. Uncle Sam has represented the bravery and fortitude of the American spirit for more than 150 years.

The stamp features eight graphic top hats in Uncle Sam’s signature style, with red and white vertical stripes above a blue band with a white star and a gray brim. Beneath each hat is an oval shape representing a face, each in a different shade, meant to suggest the ethnic and racial diversity of the United States.

The creation of Uncle Sam as a popular icon in American culture is associated with a businessman named Sam Wilson of Troy, New York. Wilson, who was often called Uncle Sam by his devoted workers, operated a successful slaughterhouse and meatpacking business for decades. When war broke out in 1812, he signed a contract to become a supplier of canned beef and pork for the American troops stationed in New York. Stamped with U.S. by the Army to denote their provenance, his cans became known as Uncle Sam’s meat by the soldiers. Uncle Sam soon turned into a nickname for the United States. By the 1830s, the character began appearing in cartoons and advertisements.

Many artists have depicted their own versions of this important figure throughout the years. Uncle Sam’s dress and appearance have evolved since his first iteration, but certain distinguishing elements help make him instantly recognizable and timeless: a dress coat with long tails, red-and-white striped pants, white whiskers, a stoic expression, and a top hat. Looking like a wise, flinty old uncle not to be crossed in his patriotic uniform, Uncle Sam represents our nation’s values of liberty and strength.

The words ADDITIONAL OUNCE on this stamp indicate its usage value. Like a Forever stamp, this stamp will always be valid for the rate printed on it. The Uncle Sam’s Hat stamp is now available for purchase at usps.com/stamps, at 800-STAMP24 (800-782-6724), and at Post Offices nationwide.

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Honoring Extraordinary Heroism: The Service Cross Medals

Service cross medals

Military decorations are a grateful nation’s way of honoring the bravery and achievements of members of the U.S. Armed Forces. Previous stamp issuances have depicted the highest military decoration for valor in combat: the Medal of Honor. Honoring Extraordinary Heroism: The Service Cross Medals recognize the next highest tier of military decorations for valor: the Distinguished Service Cross (Army), Navy Cross (Navy and Marine Corps), Air Force Cross, and Coast Guard Cross.

Each stamp consists of a photograph of one of the four medals suspended from a ribbon and shown against a dark blue backdrop. There are a total of 12 stamps on the sheet, shown in two rows. These decorations are awarded for acts of extraordinary heroism in which an individual braved enemy fire, made bold decisions, and took selfless actions to rescue or protect fellow service members.

The Honoring Extraordinary Heroism: The Service Cross Medals stamp collection is now available for purchase at usps.com/stamps, at 800-STAMP24 (800-782-6724) and at Post Offices nationwide.

Remember Those Who Have Given All

Vietnam MOH 1

Postal Service salutes Korean War Medal of Honor recipient

Medal of Honor recipient Hiroshi Miyamura signs autographs for event attendees.

Medal of Honor recipient Hiroshi Miyamura signs autographs for event attendees.

A crowd of more than 200 people gathered under nearly cloudless skies in front of the Gallup, NM, Post Office last Tuesday morning to join the Postal Service’s salute to Korean War Medal of Honor recipient and Gallup native Hiroshi H. Miyamura in honor of his inclusion as one of the medal recipients pictured on the new Forever stamp sheet.

Wearing the Army Medal of Honor pictured on one of the two stamps (the other depicts the Navy Medal of Honor), Miyamura was emotional as he accepted a framed enlargement and stamp sheet from Gallup Postmaster Thelma Malone.

During his closing remarks at the event, Miyamura recognized the courageous accomplishments and sacrifice of all veterans.

“I would especially like to give recognition to my fellow brothers of all wars,” said Miyamura. “They sacrificed so much, and their families have sacrificed so much during their service to the country. I’m just a representative of this award, and hopefully everyone will recognize and remember our fellow veterans of all the wars. Thank you very much.”

At the conclusion of the ceremony, Miyamura expressed his heartfelt gratitude for those who attended the event.

“I didn’t expect a turnout like this – especially the veterans. I was overwhelmed to see so many veterans in the audience, and I feel that this is their day also.”

All three Albuquerque network TV stations sent videographers to Gallup to join local journalists covering Tuesday’s moving ceremony. The City of Gallup provided bleacher seating and a canopy for the event, which included several elected officials and presentation of a proclamation from the New Mexico State legislature. After the ceremony, Miyamura stayed for 90 minutes to autograph stamp sheets purchased by attendees. The Gallup Post Office sold over $5,000 worth of the stamps during the event.

Gallup, NM, Postmaster Thelma Malone with Medal of Honor recipient Hiroshi Miyamura.

Gallup, NM, Postmaster Thelma Malone with Medal of Honor recipient Hiroshi Miyamura.

Medal of Honor

Pictured (clockwise from top left) are Charles H. Coolidge of Chattanooga, TN; Francis S. Currey of Selkirk, NY; Walter D. Ehlers of Buena Park, CA; John D. Hawk of Bremerton, WA; Daniel K. Inouye of Honolulu, HI; Robert D. Maxwell of Bend, OR; Vernon McGarity of Memphis, TN; Nicholas Oresko of Creskill, NJ; Wilburn K. Ross of Dupont, WA; and George T. Sakato of Denver, CO, all of whom served with the U.S. Army. Arthur J. Jackson of Boise, ID; and Hershel W. Williams of Ona, WV; served with the U.S. Marine Corps.

Pictured (clockwise from upper left) are Charles H. Coolidge of Chattanooga, TN; Francis S. Currey of Selkirk, NY; Walter D. Ehlers of Buena Park, CA; John D. Hawk of Bremerton, WA; Daniel K. Inouye of Honolulu, HI; Arthur J. Jackson of Boise, ID; Robert D. Maxwell of Bend, OR; Vernon McGarity of Memphis, TN; Nicholas Oresko of Cresskill, NJ; Wilburn K. Ross of Dupont, WA; and George T. Sakato of Denver, CO, and Hershel W. Williams of Ona, WV.

The Postal Service is proud to honor our veterans, both living and deceased, and their families by issuing World War II Medal of Honor Forever stamp prestige folio.

More than 16 million Americans served in the armed forces during World War II, but only 464 were singled out to receive the Medal of Honor. Of that, nearly half died as a result of their heroic actions to receive the honor posthumously. Only eight are alive today.

The new Medal of Honor stamp folio includes photographs of the eight living recipients as well as three who agreed to participate in the new release prior to their recent deaths.

To learn more about each Medal of Honor recipient in this stamp release, as well as all other brave recipients, click on their individual names to the right or go directly to the Congressional Medal of Honor Society webpage.

The Medal of Honor stamp set will be released on Veterans Day, Nov. 11, 2013.

  • Hello, I'm Benny the Blogger: I'm the world's most famous postal employee. My hobbies are snappy quotes, kite flying and publishing. I was born Jan. 17, 1706, but don't call me old.

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