Postal Service Continues To Reject Nisei Veterans Stamp At Its July 2009 Meeting

The Postal Service announced in August that it continues to reject the proposed stamp for the Nisei WWII veterans. Linda Macasa, representing the Postal Service as Government Relations Representative, explained their stance as follows:

“Honoring individual components or units would result in hundreds of requests from people wanting recognition. It is a given that all of these units or groups have done wonderful work and made tremendous sacrifices. They have shown extraordinary heroism, played vital roles in maintaining our freedoms, and contributed to the winning of wars and maintaining peace. The committee finds it extremely hard to hold up one group over another. Their choice is to focus on the military in general terms as a way of honoring their contributions.”

The stamp campaign co-chairs believe that certain pioneering groups within the military are indeed deserving of commemoration. Few groups, for example, are singled out in history to be taught in our nation’s high schools. The Japanese American WWII veterans are among those, in addition to the Tuskegee Airmen and Native American Code Talkers. These groups are among those credited with opening the U.S. military to integration. This historic reason alone ought to warrant special consideration of select groups of veterans like these. The co-chairs believe that a blanket rejection of all veterans for commemoration because the stamp committee fears receiving too many proposals for such stamps is not ample justification.

Ms. Macasa said that the Postal Service’s stamp committee is considering a stamp to honor the National Japanese American Memorial to Patriotism in Washington, D.C. It has been suggested that the Postal Service wishes to use this stamp as a replacement for the veterans stamp. While the National Japanese American Memorial to Patriotism is deserving of stamp commemoration on its own merits, the stamp campaign co-chairs do not see it as an appropriate replacement for a veterans stamp. The Memorial to Patriotism is not a veterans memorial, and the unique story of the veterans would likely be lost to those looking at a Memorial to Patriotism stamp. The stamp campaign’s goal continues to be to prominently commemorate the contributions of the Japanese American WWII veterans through a postage stamp. The co-chairs believe that the Memorial to Patriotism stamp ought to be seen as a separate stamp proposal altogether, and one that might be issued in addition to a veterans stamp.

The stamp campaign co-chairs continue to seek a stamp for the Japanese American WWII veterans. Stamp proposals can be reconsidered annually even if rejected by the stamp committee. Each year for the past 4 years the Postal Service has resisted change, and each year, the support for the veterans stamp increases. Just this year for example, Congressman Mike Honda was joined by 42 Members of Congress in co-signing a second Congressional letter of support for the stamp.