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Thread: Photo Of Firefighters Raising Flag New 45-cent Postage Stamp

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    Registered User SeaBreeze's Avatar
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    Photo Of Firefighters Raising Flag New 45-cent Postage Stamp

    FEATURES PHOTO OF FIREFIGHTERS RAISING FLAG NEW 45-CENT POSTAGE STAMP, HONORS, HELPS HEROES OF 9/11

    Copyright 2002 P.G. Publishing Co.
    Pittsburgh Post-Gazette...06/06/2002

    MILAN SIMONICH, POST-GAZETTE STAFF WRITER

    American icons have graced U.S. postage stamps since Elvis first stuck to a letter in 1993.

    Heroes take over tomorrow.

    A commemorative Sept. 11 stamp goes on sale, and the U.S. Postal Service will share a portion of the money from its sale with families of emergency workers who were killed or disabled in the terrorist attacks.

    This special 45-cent stamp features Thomas E. Franklin's photo of three New York City firefighters raising an American flag outside the World Trade Center.

    The stamp will be valid for postage at the first-class letter rate at time of purchase -- now 34 cents. The remainder of the difference will be sent to the Federal Emergency Management Agency to assist the heroes of Sept. 11.

    This is the second fund-raising stamp issued by the postal service. The first was for breast cancer research.

    It comes just before the postal service raises the cost of a first-class stamp to 37 cents. The increase goes into effect June 30.

    Rate hikes have averaged almost a penny a year since the postal service was created in 1971 as a break-even operation that would not require tax subsidies.

    The jump in stamp prices comes with the volume of U.S. mail down for the first time -- a decline measured at 6 billion fewer pieces than last year. E-mail, Internet bill-paying and anthrax attacks that followed Sept. 11 account for some of the drop, but the biggest reasons are more basic.

    "The downturn in the economy and depression in the advertising market have caused most of it," said postal service spokesman Gerry Kreienkamp.

    With fewer direct-mail ads to deliver, postal business is lagging. Bulk-rate mail has declined by 3.7 billion pieces since last year. First-class mailings are down by a billion more.

    All of this has occurred as more subdivisions sprout. Additional new territory the postal service must handle this year is roughly equivalent to another Chicago.

    "We deliver places where (Federal Express) and UPS won't go," Kreienkamp said.

    To keep expenses and revenues balanced, the postal service has cut its budget by $ 2 billion in the past two years.

    In human terms, that amounted to about 20,000 jobs. Another 10,000 postal jobs probably will be eliminated this year, Kreienkamp said.

    Commemorative stamps have helped to provide a new source of revenue.

    Don Smeraldi, another postal service spokesman, said stamps with a sparkle of Americana account for 200 million to 300 million sales annually.

    The 1993 stamp of a young Elvis Presley was the most popular ever, according to the postal service's inventory surveys.

    Some 124 million Elvis stamps were bought, many by customers who never affixed them to letters. They became collector items instead.

    The Elvis stamp did almost three times the sales of Marilyn Monroe's stamp -- 46.3 million in 1995 -- and Bugs Bunny's -- 45.3 million in 1997.

    The most popular stamps of more recent vintage were a collection of insects and spiders from 1999. Nearly 61 million were sold.

    Sept. 11's heroes were an obvious choice for a stamp. Postal administrators collect some 50,000 suggestions a year before turning a handful into commemorative stamps.

    That was how accomplished -- but often overlooked -- Americans such as rodeo great Bill Pickett and war correspondent Marguerite Higgins turned up on stamps.

    Pickett, the son of a onetime slave, had the most controversial stamp since the postal service's commemorative program began 10 years ago. It had nothing to do with race, and everything to do with human error. The postal service erroneously placed an image of Pickett's brother, Ben, on the 1993 stamp. A corrected version was issued later.

    When it comes to the heroes of Sept. 11, the postal service has readied itself for a big seller. A production of 205 million stamps was planned.


    http://webpublisher.lexisnexis.com/i...-51D5-00000-00

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    Registered User SeaBreeze's Avatar
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    9/11 Heroes Honored On 45

    9/11 Heroes Honored On 45

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