George H.W. Bush’s lifelong commitment to public service was highlighted during the June 12 dedication ceremony for the stamp honoring the 41st president.
“President Bush once compared the United States to a ‘thousand points of light’ that are ‘spread like stars.’ And even after his death last year, his star still burns bright — his life providing us with a rich example of the value of service unto others,” said USPS Board of Governors Chairman Robert M. Duncan, who led the ceremony.
Bush’s presidency (1989-1993) was marked by several accomplishments.
After Iraq invaded Kuwait in 1990, Bush led an international coalition that forced Iraq’s military to withdraw during the Persian Gulf War.
He also signed two historic disarmament agreements between the United States and the Soviet Union to decrease the number of nuclear weapons in their existing arsenals.
On the home front, Bush promoted legislation to reauthorize the Clean Air Act and signed the Americans with Disabilities Act, a 1990 law to end discrimination in employment, transportation, public accommodations and telecommunications for disabled people.
Before his career in politics, Bush became the Navy’s youngest pilot during World War II. He flew 58 combat missions, survived being shot down in the Pacific theater and later received the Distinguished Flying Cross.
Pierce Bush, a grandson of the former president and chief executive officer of Big Brothers Big Sisters Lone Star, noted that his grandfather, who died last fall, would have turned 95 on June 12.
“It is my incredible honor to be here and represent the entire Bush family as we celebrate and honor our hero … with this most awesome birthday present,” Pierce Bush said.
The event was held at the George H.W. Bush Presidential Center in College Station, TX.
The other speakers were David B. Jones, the George & Barbara Bush Foundation’s president and chief executive officer; Warren Finch, the George H.W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum’s director; former Ambassador Chase Untermeyer, the founding chairman of the Qatar-America Institute; and Jean Becker, a chief of staff to the former president.
The stamp, which features a portrait of Bush based on a 1997 photograph, is available at Post Offices and usps.com.
During his remarks, Untermeyer described Bush as the Postal Service’s “best ever customer” and encouraged others to follow his example of sending handwritten letters to friends and family.
“Yes, you can text or email or Instagram people today, and they will be glad you did,” Untermeyer said. “But if you really want to make them grateful … take out a piece of paper and a pen and write them a few sentences in your own hand. Oh, and don’t forget to put this handsome stamp on the envelope.”