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ARLINGTON, VA — The U.S. Postal Service today dedicated the Korean War Medal of Honor Forever stamps — paying tribute to 145 American veterans who received the nation’s highest military honor for personal acts of valor above and beyond the call of duty during the Korean War.
The dedication took place at the Arlington National Cemetery’s Amphitheater where one of the living Korean War recipients, Thomas Jerome Hudner Jr. of Concord, MA, and family members of other recipients depicted on the stamp sheet participated in the ceremony.
“Today we are here, in this peaceful setting, to remember a war and those who fought it so valiantly,” said Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe in dedicating the stamps. “It’s very fitting that we are gathered at the place where 25 Korean War Medal of Honor recipients are laid to rest. With these stamps we salute them and all Medal of Honor recipients, who so bravely fought for our nation.
“As a participant in the Korean War, I’m pleased with the Postal Service’s recognition of the sacrifices made in a vicious war fought under brutal conditions,” said Hudner. “By defeating the North Korean and Chinese forces, our veterans of that war ensured that South Korea would remain free and served as a warning to other nations that we will not stand idly by while a friendly nation is being attacked.”
Also joining Donahoe in the dedication were the President of the Korean War Veterans Association Larry Kinard; Republic of Korea Vice Minister for the Ministry of Patriot and Veterans Affairs, Choi Wan Keun; and Representative of National Assembly of the Republic of Korea Kim Jung Hoon.
Customers may purchase the Medal of Honor: Korean War Prestige Folio Forever stamps at usps.com/stamps, at 800-STAMP24 (800-782-6724), at Post Offices nationwide or at ebay.com/stamps. The stamps are available, starting today, as a set of 20 stamps.
Korean War Medal of Honor Forever Stamps
The first side of this four-page design highlights historical photographs of the Korean War Medal of Honor recipients who were alive at the time the stamp sheet was designed. One stamp features a photograph of the Navy version of the Medal; the other features a photograph of the Army version of the Medal of Honor. The third page lists the names of all 145 recipients of the Medal of Honor from the Korean War. (A short piece of text and a key to the names of the recipients pictured in the cover photos is included on the second page.) The remaining 18 stamps are found on the back page. Art director Antonio Alcala of Alexandria, VA, designed the stamps and the new format, working with photographs of the medals by Richard Frasier of Vienna, VA.
(Two center pages)
Only 145 of the 6.8 million members who served in the U.S. Armed Forces during the Korean War received the Medal of Honor. Nearly three out of four (107) of the 145 recipients received the honor posthumously.
Pictured clockwise from top right center of the front cover are the surviving Korean War Medal of Honor recipients: Hector A. Cafferata Jr. of Venice, FL; William R. Charette of Lake Wales, FL (d. 3/18/12); Duane E. Dewey of Irons, MI; Rodolfo P. Hernandez of Fayetteville, NC (d. 12/21/13); Thomas Jerome Hudner Jr. of Concord, MA; Einar H. Ingman Jr. of Irma, WI; Hiroshi H. Miyamura of Gallup, NM; Ola L. Mize of Gadsden, AL (d. 3/12/14); Ronald E. Rosser of Roseville, OH; Tibor Rubin of Garden Grove, CA; Robert E. Simanek of Farmington Hills, MI; James L. Stone of Arlington, TX (d. 11/9/12); and Ernest E. West of Wurtland, KY. Charette, Hernandez, Mize and Stone were living at the time the stamp was designed but have since died.Videos of the following recipients are available through the Medal of Honor Foundation video channel online: Hudner, Charette, Dewey, Hernandez, Miyamura, Mize, Rosser, Rubin, Simanek,
The Nation’s Highest Award for Valor in Combat
The idea for the Medal of Honor was conceived during the Civil War, when the nation had no formal system for rewarding acts of heroism. Iowa Sen. James W. Grimes introduced a bill to “promote the efficiency of the Navy” by distributing “medals of honor.” President Abraham Lincoln signed the bill into law Dec. 21, 1861. Lincoln signed a similar measure for the U.S. Army July 12, 1862, and the country had two Medals of Honor: one for sailors, and one for soldiers. By the time the Civil War ended, 1,525 medals had been awarded, including one to Army surgeon Mary Walker, the only woman ever to receive the Medal of Honor.
Because it was the country’s only military medal, the Medal of Honor was awarded more freely at first. After World War I broke out, the Army and Navy created a series of new decorations to recognize different degrees of accomplishment, including the Distinguished Service Cross, the Navy Cross and the Citation Star, later replaced by the Silver Star. As a result, only 124 Medals of Honor were awarded for service in World War I.
There are three similar, yet distinct, versions of the Medal of Honor, one each for the Army, Navy and Air Force. The Air Force version was not created until 1965. The medals are similar in that each consists of a variation of a five-pointed star worn around the neck on a light blue ribbon. The Navy version is awarded to those serving in the Navy or Marine Corps, and during times of war, to members of the Coast Guard. Although not required by any military regulation, according to tradition and the nature of the award, even a four-star general will salute a private who wears the Medal of Honor. Visit the Congressional Medal of Honor Society website for information on all Medal of Honor recipients.
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/stampsor 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:
Medal of Honor: Korean War
Arlington Main Office
3118 Washington Blvd
Arlington, VA 22201-9998
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 Sept. 24, 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 or by calling 800-782-6724. Customers may request a free catalog by calling 800-782-6724 or writing to:
U.S. Postal Service
PO Box 219014
Kansas City, MO 64121-9014
There are nine philatelic products for this stamp issue:
587424 Framed Art, $39.95.
587410 Keepsake w/Digital Color Postmark
(Set of 2), $13.95.
587416 First-Day Cover (Set of 2), $1.86.
587421 Digital Color Postmark (Set of 2), $3.28.
587430 Ceremony Program, $6.95.
587431 Stamped Deck Card, $0.95.
587432 Stamped Deck Card w/Digital Color Postmark,
Customers may view the Korean War Medal of Honor Forever stamps Prestige Folio, as well as many of this year’s other stamps, on Facebook at facebook.com/USPSStamps, on Twitter@USPSstamps or on the website uspsstamps.com, the Postal Service’s online site for information on upcoming stamp subjects, first-day-of-issue events and other philatelic news.
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