Colorado SpringsFederal agenciesNewsSouthern Colorado

Stamp unveiled at Colorado Springs gathering marks century since World War I

Author: Tony Peck, The Gazette - August 6, 2018 - Updated: August 23, 2018

A stamp unveiled by Keith LaMee at the American Legion Post 5 honors those who served in World War I. (Photo by Jerilee Bennet, The Gazette)

COLORADO SPRINGS — A new stamp unveiled by the American Legion and U.S. Postal Service in Colorado Springs last week commemorates the World War I centennial by highlighting those who served.

The “Turning the Tide” stamp was designed by Greg Breeding, art director for the Postal Service, and based on an illustration by Mark Stutzman. It depicts a doughboy holding a U.S. flag against a backdrop of smoke, barbed wire and biplanes flying overhead.

“The stamp we’re dedicating today … gives us an opportunity to look back at something that seems distant and long ago,” said Keith LaMee, a member of the American Legion Post Five in downtown Colorado Springs. “Without this remembrance it would be so easy to lose sight of the sacrifices of those out in no-man’s land.”

The sacrifices were substantial, he said.

In 1917, more than 2 million U.S. troops were shipped across the Atlantic to fight on European battlefields.

By November 1918, more than 115,000 Americans had been killed in action or died of disease.

On Nov. 11 of this year, it will have been 100 years since the World War I armistice was signed and the guns quieted across Europe.

When the fighting ended, millions of veterans returned home, carrying the trauma of war with them.

Early attempts to re-create community and advocacy for the benefit of those veterans lacked organization and centralized leadership. But in 1919, Congress chartered the American Legion.

“Without World War I, there would be no American Legion,” LaMee said. “Through their sacrifice we could get the American Legion founded and we are still seeing a need, we are still trying to help one another.”

While the weapons of war have changed, the impact conflict has on the men and women who fight it remains the same, he said. And with the release of the commemorative stamp, a small daily reminder of that fact exits.

“The needs of the veterans are still going to be there,” LaMee said. “When they come back, they need an apparatus so they and their family are taken care of and provided for.”

The stamp is now available at post offices nationwide.

Tony Peck, The Gazette