ONEONTA, 05/27/11 – State Senator James L. Seward (R/C/I-Oneonta) today concluded a tour of his district, joining local veterans and postal officials to announce that the Purple Heart postage stamp has been classified as a “Forever” stamp, ensuring that it will continue in circulation as a lasting tribute to wounded veterans.
“As we approach Memorial Day it is important to recognize the brave men and women who have sacrificed so much for our country and our way of life,” said Senator Seward. “Classifying the Purple Heart stamp as a “Forever” stamp is an important step by the U.S. Postal Service in recognizing our military heroes.”
The campaign to create the Purple Heart stamp started in the New York State Senate in November 2000 by Senator Bill Larkin (R/C-Cornwall-On-Hudson), a 23 year Army combat veteran. After a massive letter writing effort by the Military Order of the Purple Heart and other veterans organizations, the stamp was first issued in 2003. Since that time, each time the price of a first class letter changed, a renewed effort was needed to ensure the stamp would continue. Delays in issuing the stamp also occurred due to price increases.
Senator Seward was joined by local veterans, including several Purple Heart recipients, at post offices in Catskill, Herkimer and Cortland to announce the Purple Heart stamp's "Forever" status.
“The “Forever” stamp classification means the Purple Heart stamp will live on as a constant and eternal reminder of our military heroes who have made, in some cases, the ultimate sacrifice. Honoring the bravery and courage of all who have been awarded the Purple Heart is something I am proud to do,” concluded Senator Seward.
The Purple Heart is awarded in the name of the president of the United States to members of the U.S. military who have been wounded or killed in action. According to the Military Order of the Purple Heart, an organization for combat-wounded veterans, the medal is the “oldest military decoration in the world in present use and the first award made to a common soldier.”