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Stamp Issued to Honor September 11 Rescue Workers - 2002-06-08

The United States Postal Service issued a new stamp in honor of the rescue workers called to action on September 11. The proceeds of the stamp will go to relatives of emergency workers killed or disabled in the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center.

The photograph of three firefighters raising the U.S. flag on the giant mound of rubble that was the World Trade Center, was snapped by photographer Thomas Franklin for a local newspaper.

Now, that photograph has been reprinted 205 million times for a special stamp called Heroes of 2001.

Officials, joined by the photographer and the firefighters, who appeared in the original picture, dedicated the stamp in a ceremony in New York, near the site where the World Trade Center used to stand.

U.S. Postmaster General John Potter says the stamp honors the 2,800 people killed in the attacks in New York, including more than 300 firefighters who were trapped in the two giant buildings when they collapsed.

"With this special stamp, we are paying tribute to all those who made the ultimate sacrifice for the people of this great nation, whether in the skyscrapers of New York City, of the military corridors of the Pentagon, or in the air above the rolling hills of Pennsylvania," he said. "They were firefighters, police officers, medical workers, men and women whose job it was to reach out and help others."

U.S. Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton says the symbolism of Heroes of 2001 is similar to the stamp issued in 1945, showing the award-winning photograph of U.S. marines hoisting the U.S. flag during bloody World War II battle of Iwo Jima.

"When you look at this stamp, you not only see three courageous men doing their duty, but you can't help but also remember that symbol from World War II, raising the flag at Iwo Jima," she said.

The money raised by the First-Class stamp, which costs 45 cents each, will be given to families of emergency workers killed or seriously injured in the rescue operation that followed the attacks.

Rescue workers affected by the attacks have also been included in the recent distribution of more than $100 million from a separate fund established by former New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani.

The Heroes of 2001 stamp will remain on sale until the end of 2004. The original photograph was auctioned in April raising nearly $90,000 for the victims of September 11.