State Senator Hugh T. Farley (R, C - Schenectady) reminds constituents that the United States Postal Service will re-issue the Purple Heart stamp, beginning Saturday, May 27th.
"This is a nice tribute by the Post Office for the Memorial Day holiday," Senator Farley said. The observance of Memorial Day this year is Monday, May 29th.
Memorial Day originally began as a time for the families of Civil War soldiers to commemorate the heroic actions of their deceased family members. Over the years, it came to serve as a commemoration to remember all the U.S. men and women killed or missing in action when serving their country, Senator Farley said.
"We shouldn't wait until our veterans are gone to treasure them," Senator Farley said. "These veterans are living history and we can learn so much from them. They sacrificed so much. Their honorable service to their country was courageous because they left their comfortable surroundings and helped to not only protect their nation, but other nations in the fight for freedom."
The Purple Heart stamp depicts a military medal that recognizes the sacrifice of men and women who shed their blood in the defense of the country. It was originally issued in May 2003 as a 37-cent stamp, but will now be reissued as a 39-cent stamp.
The National Purple Heart Hall of Honor is currently being built in the Hudson Valley at the New Windsor Cantonment State Historic Site, near West Point, Senator Farley reported. The grand opening is scheduled for some time in November.
Senator Farley said the Hall of Honor is currently collecting information on Purple Heart recipients. The stories and personal memories of these veterans will be collected for an electronic database, the Roll of Honor, which will eventually be available on-site and over the Internet for a worldwide audience.
Senator Farley said a Purple Heart recipient or his/her family can participate by supplying the following information:
* The recipient's DD-214, or discharge papers;
* The recipient's story, in his or her own words, or in a family member's words;
* The circumstances under which the recipient was wounded;
* The evacuation of the recipient, medical treatment and return home;
* What the recipient went on to do after the war.
This information can be as short as a paragraph or as long as needed. Please submit this information to: The National Purple Heart Hall of Honor, PO Box 207, Vails Gate, New York 12584. Or call (845) 561-1765.
For more information, visit the website www.nysparks.com