Toward the end of last year, the Facebook page of the United States Postal Service Postage Stamps, (USPS Stamps), posted a poll where you could vote for your favorite postage stamp of 2013. When we first saw the post, the Seed Packet Postage Stamps were in the lead. We then posted a request for our followers to vote for the New England Coastal Lighthouses Postage Stamps. Within minutes of our request, the lighthouse postage stamps jumped into the lead. Over the next few weeks the voting for the lighthouse postage stamps caused them to jump so far in the lead that the lighthouse postage stamps had more votes than most of the other postage stamps combined.
However, seemingly at the last minute, Harry Potter fans must have found out about the voting and they swamped the web site with votes for the Harry Potter postage stamps and beat out the New England Lighthouse Postage Stamps by around 600 votes.
Personally I think it is a national disgrace when postage stamps based on fictional characters, movie stars, or cartoons, beat out postage stamps that honor our nation’s history. We, “the lighthouse community” really needed a win on this one.
But, as usual, many of the lighthouse groups around the country did not get behind this effort or encourage their members to vote for the lighthouse postage stamps. Nor have the majority of lighthouse groups supported Lighthouse Digest in our ongoing fifteen year effort to get postage stamps issued honoring the U.S. Lighthouse Service and the lighthouse keepers. If they had, the lighthouse postage stamps might have won in last year’s polling, and we might have been on our way to a series of lighthouse keeper postage stamps.
I have a pretty good feeling that the Postal Service will issue more postage stamps with lighthouses, but a win in the 2013 voting might have helped convince the decision makers to issue a postage stamp honoring the United States Lighthouse Service and a series of stamps picturing the images of lighthouse keepers from across the United States. Also, amazingly, the United States Postal Service has never issued a postage stamp honoring Stephen Pleasanton, the man who was in charge of our nation’s lighthouses for 32 years and who is the man who saved the original copies of the Declaration of Independence, the Articles of Confederation, the U.S. Constitution and other valuable and irreplaceable government documents from being burned by the British when they destroyed the nation’s capital on August 24, 1814. This year would be the perfect time on the 200th anniversary of that historic event to honor Stephen Pleasanton.
While some lighthouse groups have wholeheartedly supported our efforts in many ways, other groups have never helped in these aforementioned efforts, nor have a number of them helped to promote Lighthouse Digest to the general public by encouraging people to subscribe to the magazine. In fact, some have outright refused, telling us they only work to promote their lighthouse or their local lighthouses and that they don’t want their membership distracted from their efforts or their lighthouse, and some lighthouse groups just ignore us. These groups need to realize that all of our nation’s lighthouse history is interwoven with each and every lighthouse as well as in many cases the history of lighthouses in other nations.
For the past 22 years Lighthouse Digest has done its best to help save lighthouses and the history associated with them, all while promoting the efforts of many nonprofits through direct as well as indirect efforts. We have also uncovered lost and forgotten history and recorded, reported on, and saved it for future generations on our website as well as in our extensive archives. Much of what we have saved, especially in photographs, most likely, might otherwise have been lost and destroyed forever. We have done it because it is the right thing to do. Thankfully there are thousands of our subscribers, who apparently agree with us.
We believe that we are all in this together and the more we work together for the good of all, while trying to save the lighthouses that are left and save their history, everyone, in the long term, will benefit from the results. Let’s make this a nationwide, as well as a worldwide, team effort for the benefit and promotion of lighthouses and their history.
Let’s move forward and get the Postal Service to issue postage stamps to honor the U.S. Lighthouse Service and their keepers. And, as we have been writing about for years, let’s also work together to once and for all officially make each and every August 7th our National Lighthouse Day.
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This story appeared in the
Mar/Apr 2014 edition of Lighthouse Digest Magazine. The print edition contains more stories than our internet edition, and each story generally contains more photographs - often many more - in the print edition. For subscription information about the print edition, click here.
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