In letters today to Postmaster General Megan Brennan and the Citizens’ Stamp Advisory Committee, U.S. Senators Joni Ernst (R-IA) and Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) requested issuance of a Forever Stamp to honor the service and sacrifice of Gold Star Families.
Ernst and Blumenthal introduced bipartisan legislation in 2016 and 2017 to establish the stamp. U.S. Representative Elizabeth Esty (D-CT) introduced similar legislation in the House of Representatives. Although Congress may approve the issuance of specific stamps, the Postmaster General also has the authority to issue a stamp.
“For more than 80 years, Gold Star Families have personified the very essence of grit, resolve, and perseverance, while working tirelessly to improve the lives of others who share their unique sacrifice. Permanently honoring Gold Star Families with a Forever Stamp would have widespread national appeal and significance, reaching Americans beyond the population personified by such a stamp,” Ernst and Blumenthal wrote to the Citizens’ Stamp Advisory Committee.
In 1947, President Harry S. Truman signed into law legislation establishing the first Gold Star Mothers stamp. The original Gold Star Mothers stamp became available on September 21, 1948. The first sheet of stamps was presented to Mrs. Thomas F. Sullivan of Waterloo, Iowa, who lost five sons when an enemy torpedo sank the USS Juneau on November 13, 1942.
Because the Gold Star Mothers stamp was designated as a special series commemorative stamp, rather than a permanent stamp, it was eventually discontinued. This is the only time that a special series commemorative stamp was issued pursuant to legislation.