HOLMDEL, N.J., July 26 /PRNewswire/ --
The Vietnam War was remembered today when a new commemorative postage stamp was unveiled by the U.S. Postal Service at the New Jersey Vietnam Veterans' Memorial.
"The Vietnam War stamp will be a lasting tribute to the American men and women who served their country during the war," said David Solomon, Vice President, New York Metro Area, who unveiled the stamp.
Joining Solomon at the ceremony were New Jersey Governor Christine Todd Whitman; Congressman Rush Holt (D-NJ); Frank Delany, President, New Jersey Vietnam Veterans' Memorial Foundation and Vito Cetta, District Manager, Central New Jersey District.
The Vietnam War stamp was selected by the public during nationwide balloting in May, 1998 as one of 15 commemorative stamps saluting the 1960s. Over a two-year period the public was offered the chance to vote for stamp subjects honoring the 1950s through the 1990s, as part of the Celebrate The Century stamp and education program.
Other winning 1960s stamp subjects include: Man Walks On The Moon; The Integrated Circuit; Lasers; "I Have A Dream"; Woodstock; The Beatles; Peace Corps STAR TREK; Super Bowl I; Green Bay Packers; Roger Maris, 61 in '61; Peace Symbol; Ford Mustang; and Barbie Doll.
The stamps will be issued September 17, 1999 in Green Bay, Wisconsin, joining six sheets of stamps saluting the 1900s-1950s, now available at post offices nationwide.
The Celebrate The Century commemorative stamp and education program honors some of the most significant people, places, events, and trends of each decade of the passing century. In cooperation with the U.S. Department of Education and 12 leading education associations, the Postal Service has developed a curriculum being used in some 300,000 classrooms nationwide, taking students on a field trip through the last 100 years of American history.
The Vietnam War (1954-1975) was the longest military conflict in U.S. history. The hostilities in Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia claimed the lives of more than 58,000 Americans. Another 304,000 were wounded.
As a result of the Geneva Conference in 1954, after France's defeat in the French Indochina war, Vietnam was divided into North and South Vietnam. The war began in South Vietnam as Communist-led guerillas attempted to overthrow the South Vietnamese government.
In 1961, the U.S. began sending support troops to South Vietnam, but following the Tonkin Gulf Resolution of 1964, the war quickly escalated. Under President Richard Nixon, the U.S. began a policy of increased bombing and troop withdrawals. In 1973, a Paris cease-fire agreement allowed U.S. troops to withdraw. The war ended in 1975 with a final offensive by the
North Vietnamese and the defeat of the South Vietnamese army.
The New Jersey Vietnam Veterans Memorial is located off the Garden State Parkway near the PNC Bank Arts Center in Holmdel. Comprised of 366 polished black granite panels, each 8-feet high, the memorial honors all those who served and, in particular, pays tribute to New Jersey's sons and daughters who went to Southeast Asia but did not return.
Designed by Carl Herman of Laguna Niguel, California, the Vietnam War stamp features a photograph by Sgt. 1st Class Howard C. Breedlove, U.S. Army DASPO, of men of the 1st Squadron, 9th Cavalry, 1st Cavalry Division (Airmobile), participating in Task Force Oregon, leaping from a chopper near Chu Lai in the spring of 1967.
The Citizens' Stamp Advisory Committee recommends all stamp subjects and designs to the Postmaster General for final approval. The committee also selected the stamps to honor the 1900s through the 1940s. During month-long balloting periods, the public selected the subjects for stamps commemorating the 1950s through the 1990s.
Each decade-specific ballot offered a total of 30 choices in five categories: People & Events, Arts & Entertainment, Sports, Science & Technology, and Lifestyle. The top two vote-getters in each category, along with the next five highest vote-getters overall, became stamps for a total of 15 stamps per decade.
The Celebrate The Century series of 150 commemorative stamps, available on 10 stamp panes honoring each decade of the 20th century, captures 100 years of American history in a colorful and educational way. The 1970s stamps are scheduled to be issued in November 1999, the 1980s in January 2000, and the 1990s in April 2000.
For more information on stamps, or to see an image of the Vietnam War stamp, visit the Postal Service Website at http://www.usps.com and click on "Stamps." To order the Celebrate The Century stamps, or other stamps or stamp
products, go directly to http://www.stampsonline.com .