It was 100 years ago that the Navy laid the keel to begin construction on the USS Arizona.
On Thursday the U.S. Postal Service honored the historic vessel with the dedication of a stamp.
Dozens seized the opportunity to meet four tried and true American heroes. All were survivors of the attack on Pearl Harbor.
Pearl Harbor survivors say the stamp is a reminder of the sacrifice made by some brave sailors.
“We’re not really important. Besides the stamp, all the important ones are still on the Arizona,” said Sterling Cale, a Pearl Harbor survivor.
The USS Arizona Memorial paid tribute to sailors Sterling Cale calls important – the 1,177 who lost their lives December 7, 1941. Now this national historical landmark will be remembered forever on a postage stamp.
“I’m elated with the whole thing. Seeing all these people from all over the world come here to pay their respects for all the youngsters who were lost on December 7, 1941. This is quite a tremendous event,” said Herb Weatherwax, a Pearl Harbor survivor.
Weatherwax was stationed at Schofield Barracks in 1941. He and the other survivors say the importance of creating a stamp is to remember those who made the ultimate sacrifice and to teach a new generation about what happened that infamous day.
“I’ll never forget that day. That’s one thing that happened in my life that will never be forgotten. It stands out to me like it was yesterday that it took place,” said Weatherwax.
“Last year we talked to children, fourth and fifth graders in South Carolina, all year long. I must have talked to thousands of fourth and fifth graders, telling them the story of Dec. 7,” said Cale.
Not everyone will have an opportunity to visit Hawaii and see this memorial in person. But with this stamp people across the country will be able to see what the memorial and be reminded of its importance.
The USS Arizona Memorial Stamp is a Priority Express Stamp. It costs $19.99.