MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. - -- The U.S. Postal Service Nov. 10 immortalized four legendary Marines in a ceremony at the Marine Corps Exchange here.
The distinguished Marines commemorative 37-cent postage stamps feature Gunnery Sgt. John Basilone, Sgt. Maj. Daniel J. Daly, Lt. Gen. John A. Lejeune and Lt. Gen. Lewis “Chesty” B. Puller.
“We’re very excited,” said Mark Saunders, a USPS spokesman. “This is the first time the U.S. Postal Service has released a stamp depicting individual Marines.”
Commemorative stamps are issued in observance of historical events, in honor of noted Americans and on topics of national importance.
“The U.S. Postal Service receives about 50,000 cards and letters each year containing suggested commemorative stamp ideas,” said Saunders. “Of those, only 30 are selected for evaluation by the citizen stamp advisory committee.”
The citizen stamp advisory committee consists of 15 people who are experts in the fields of design, art, history and other American related subject matter. After recommendations are made, they are submitted to John E. Potter, the postmaster general, for final approval.
“The committee decided that these four individuals best represented the spirit and tradition of the Marine Corps,” said Saunders. “Though there are many that fit the mold, the committee selected these.”
Basilone earned the Medal of Honor at Guadalcanal when he used a machine gun and a pistol to kill 38 enemy soldiers.
Daly is one of only two Marines who earned the nation’s highest military decoration twice for separate acts of heroism.
Lejeune, the 13th Commandant of the Marine Corps, served for more than 40 years and is often referred to as “the greatest of all leathernecks.”
Puller, who was one of the most decorated men in the Marine Corps, is the only Marine ever to be awarded the Navy Cross five times for heroism and gallantry in action.
Marine Barracks Washington, D.C., and Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, Calif., also hosted corresponding ceremonies to celebrate the release.
The Distinguished Marines commemorative 37-cent U.S. postage stamps are now available in Post Offices nationwide. The 60 million printed stamps are being sold in multiples of 20 for $7.40 a sheet.