On March 22, the American Stamp Dealer Association (ASDA) hosted a first day ceremony at their Midwest Postage Stamp Show, in Oakbrook Terrace, a Chicago suburb. The ceremony for the newly-released Star Ribbon forever stamp welcomed philatelists, service members, postal representatives, and locals alike.
Highlights from the ceremony include Master of Ceremonies Michael McInturf (Great Lakes Area Marketing Manager); the presentation of Colors by the Air Force Academy High School Honor Guard from Chicago; a performance of "The Star Spangled Banner" by postal employee Sharon Jones; and addresses given by ASDA Vice President Kristin Maravelias and Michael J. Elston, who serves as the acting secretary of the Postal Service’s Board of Governors.
The ceremony also included a stunning performance of "America the Beautiful" by local firefighter and paramedic Glen Washington, accompanied by dancers from the Arthur Murray Dance Studio.
The special highlight of the day was the unveiling of the first day cancel placed on the covers from this event. Oakbrook Terrace has no postal identity, meaning that their mail is delivered by Villa Park. Therefore the first day cancel, which reads "Oakbrook Terrace, Illinois 60181," is the first and only time that Oakbrook Terrace, Illinois, has appeared on a postmark - making this cover an interesting find for collectors of Chicago locals and oddities.
Interested in the Star Ribbon forever stamp? The red, white and blue stamp is available in a pane of 20 or in coils of 3,000 and 10,000 stamps from the Postal Service and your local post office.
Details about the ceremony and photos were provided by Steve Bahnsen. See the USPS press release announcing this event for more information about the Star Ribbon stamp.