Postal Service honors WWII veterans in stamp dedication


"I didn't think I did the heroics credited to me. I was just mad out of my mind when I charged up the hill. I thought I might die, but I was going to die trying. To be part of this stamp dedication is humbling. I share this honor with all the other brave men and women who sacrificed."  — George T. Sakato

As a second-generation Japanese-American serving his country in World War II, George T. Sakato and his unit set out to defend a hill from a German unit near Biffontaine, France in October, 1944. As shots rang out, Sakato's friend and comrade was shot and killed, his body going limp in Sakato's arms. Devastated and enraged, Sakato channeled his fury to single-handedly stage an assault on the Germans, killing 12 and capturing four. Inspired by his boldness, Sakato's unit followed his lead and captured 34 more prisoners. 

As a result of his gallantry, Sakato was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross. 55 years later, the Denver resident and retired postal employee, received the Medal of Honor for his courageous service. 

In honor of the 16 million Americans who served their country during WWII, 464 of which who were awarded this honor, the U.S. Postal Service dedicated the World War II Medal of Honor Forever stamps in Washington, D.C. yesterday. Sakato's face is pictured along with 11 other of the living recipients on the first side of the four-page design, with the center pages listing names of all recipients of this honor. 

“Our challenge as a nation is to never forget the sacrifices all of these individuals made on our behalf,” says Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe in a news release.  “We hope these new Medal of Honor Forever stamps will provide everyone with one more way to preserve our veterans’ stories for future generations. Let them serve as small reminders of the giant sacrifices made by the heroes of World War II.”

George Sakato from Medal of Honor Foundation on Vimeo.

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