Despite the rain, more than a thousand of you joined us last Saturday for a wonderful First Day of Issue Ceremony in honor of the new War of 1812: USS Constitution stamp. Thank you to Gov. Barnett; Cmdr. Matthew Bonner, Constitution‘s 72nd commanding officer; Boston Postmaster James Holland; and all the collectors and fans who made the event truly special.
“It is such an honor for Constitution to be immortalized on a Forever stamp,” Bonner said. “And there is no better time than during the bicentennial of the War of 1812 during which Constitution and the Navy played such a pivotal role.”
During the war, USS Constitution became a symbol of the young nation’s independence and an inspiration to future generations. With his 1830 poem, “Old Ironsides,” Oliver Wendell Holmes aroused popular support to repair the venerable ship, which continued to serve in various capacities for much of the 19th century.
Today Constitution, the oldest commissioned warship afloat in the world, is docked at the historic Charlestown Navy Yard in Boston, Massachusetts, and is manned by a crew of active-duty U.S. Navy sailors. She was officially designated as “America’s Ship of State” in 2009. In preparation for the bicentennial of the War of 1812, Constitution has been restored to more closely resemble her appearance during that historic conflict.