Post office honors Coast Guard’s 225th anniversary with new ‘Forever Stamp”
As a gesture of appreciation from one of the nation’s oldest government services to another, the Eureka Post Office unveiled it’s new “Forever Stamp” in Eureka on Saturday morning to honor the Coast Guard’s 225th anniversary.
Having formerly served in the Coast Guard, the Eureka Post Office’s Customer Services Supervisor Dane Purdy came up with the idea of the ceremony. Standing at the Adorni Center amphitheater before an audience of current and former service men and women, local residents, firefighters and family members, Purdy explained how both the beginning of U.S. Postal Service and Coast Guard were formed shortly after the nation’s formation.
“It’s an honor to just recognize them,” he said. “The United States Postal Serve and United States Coast Guard both have a history going back 200 years. ...There is some longevity between the two agencies here.”
After a large poster of the new stamp was unveiled, Coast Guard Humboldt Bay Sector Deputy Commander Olav Saboe decreed it “the best looking stamp I’ve ever seen.”
The stamp portrays two staples of the Coast Guard staples: the three-masted cutter Eagle and the MH-65 Dolphin helicopter. After summarizing the Coast Guards own history, Saboe shared his own experience while training on the Eagle, which is still used to teach sailing and seamanship to trainees. As he served as a cadet aboard the Eagle in 1993, Saboe said he had a defining life moment.
“I can still vividly remembering climbing to the top of her main mast during a North Atlantic squall trying to furl in her sails almost 150 feet above the water,” he said. “A memory that will never leave me.”
Along with attendance by several local Coast Guard members, an MH-65 Dolphin had also landed on a nearby lawn and, following the ceremony, took off to give live search and rescue demonstration on the Bay.
With Eureka being one of the few across the nation holding the title of a Coast Guard city, several representatives from the community attended including Mayor Frank Jager.
“They’ve been serving this community and keeping people safe and rescuing people along the waters of Humboldt Bay and up and down the coast,” Jager said. “We really appreciate what they’ve done.”
Members of Eureka High School’s Reserve Officers’ Training Corps led the color guard procession while five members of the school’s music program sang the national anthem. Girl Scouts Troop 10711 also attended to lead the attendees in the Pledge of Allegiance. Congressman Jared Huffman’s District Representative John Driscoll also spoke in the ceremony, recounting his own experience covering the local Coast Guard’s feats as a former newspaper reporter and flying over the coastline with Huffman in a Dolphin helicopter.