"It's exciting for me because we started working on this in 2005". Former US Senator Daniel Akaka beamed as he spoke of the newly unveiled USS Arizona Memorial Priority Mail Express stamp.
He championed its cause with State Representative K. Mark Takai, who was also in attendace at the Pearl Harbor Visitor Center, where the stamp debuted Thursday morning.
"I think the biggest thing from my perspective is it shows a little of Hawaii. And I think for people in Hawaii that's very important" said Takai.
US Navy Rear Admiral Richard Williams also spoke at the event. He stressed the connection to the past, and the men and women who served in the US military during the attack on Pearl Harbor, and World War II.
Takai and Akaka were also quick to point out that the stamp can serve as a memento for those who cannot make it to the memorial in person.
"This stamp is going to go worldwide, and we're gonna share Pearl Harbor and the story of Pearl Harbor to people across the nation and across the world" said Takai.
Added Akaka "I think it's gonna reach into the hearts of the people of America".
The following is the official USPS description of the stamp:
"Every year, more than a million people visit the USS Arizona Memorial in Hawaii's Pearl Harbor and remember the events of December 7, 1941. This tranquil shrine to the 1,177 sailors aboard the Arizona who lost their lives that day also marks the entry of the United States into World War II.
The art for this Priority Mail Express® stamp features an illustration of the white concrete memorial, which rises above the sunken ship in the shape of a bridge. Depicted under a sunny sky and bright clouds with an American flag fluttering overhead, the memorial is mirrored by its own reflection on the water below.
Nearly half of the Americans killed in the attack died aboard the Arizona when a bomb struck an ammunitions store, causing it to detonate. The remains of the ship now rest at the bottom of Pearl Harbor.
The $19.99 USS Arizona Memorial Priority Mail Express® stamp is available in sheets of 10.
The illustration was created by Dan Cosgrove, working with art director Phil Jordan."