By C. Todd Lopez
ANDREWS AIR FORCE BASE, Washington, D.C. (May 24, 2007) -- As part of the opening ceremony, May 18, of last weekend's Joint Service Open House at Andrews Air Force Base, Md., a representative of the U.S. Postal Service unveiled two new stamps that feature the military aircraft responsible for transporting the President of the United States.
"William is one of America's premier aviation artists, who has done a lot of work for us over the years," Failor said. "And together, (USPS art director Philip Gordon) and Bill did a wonderful job of depicting these two iconic aircraft on this tiny little piece of paper we call a postage stamp."
Failor said he believes the works do more than simply represent aircraft, they represent what it means to be in the military.
"This month, 45 years ago, Gen. Douglas MacArthur made his famous farewell address to the nation in which he summed up what he thought the essence of military service: duty, honor and country," Failor said. "He said he didn't possess the brilliance of metaphor to say what all those words meant. But today, we hope to find a little bit of that brilliance, not in a metaphor, but in the shiny steel of two aircraft -- two aircraft that represent both the power of the presidency and the extraordinary military professionals who stand behind that power and epitomize the meaning of duty, honor and country."
Col. Margaret H. Woodward, 89th Airlift Wing commander, said the Air Force One stamp is a fitting tribute to Air Force One and what it represents.
"I can think of no better way to honor Air Force One than on a stamp issued by the USPS," she said. "This stamp will serve as a lasting reminder of service to our nation, and also serves to remind future generations of Americans how privileged they are to live in the land of the free and home of the brave."
The 89th Airlift Wing, located at Andrews AFB, Md., is responsible for operation of Air Force One.
The unveiling of the two stamps was part of the kickoff ceremony of the 2006 Joint Services Open House at Andrews AFB. Maj. Gen. Robert L. Smolen, Air Force District of Washington commander, told attendees that the open house, while on an Air Force Base, was actually a joint event meant to highlight the contributions of all branches of the Armed Forces.
"This is a joint operation, and you will see the fine hardware and technology that our sister services have brought," he told ceremony attendees. "Every bit of that is important to the missions we have to perform. There is nothing we do today worldwide that we can do individually. Each of our services contributes in a unique and innovative way to make it all happen."
The general also said that even more important than the hardware on display at the show, were the people that operate that equipment.
"It's America's sons and daughters that are defending, with our allies, with contractors, and with civilians, the freedoms we all enjoy," he said. "The real jewels of our empire are in those people that are operating those very systems."
The Air Force One stamp is valued at $4.60, and will be available for sending Priority Mail packages. The Marine One stamp is valued at $16.25, and will be available for Express Mail packages. Both should become available in June.