1997 Women in Military Service
- Honors women in the military
- Issued in conjunction with the dedication of the Women in the Military Service for America (WIMSA) Memorial in Arlington National Cemetery.
32¢, First Class Mail Rate
First Day of Issue:
October 18, 1997
First Day City:
Banknote Corporation of America
Panes of 20 (Horizontal 4 across, 5 down)
11.1 (Wista stroke perforator)
Why the stamp was issued:
Honors the many women who have served in the US military over the years. Issued in conjunction with the dedication of the Women in the Military Service for America (WIMSA) Memorial in Arlington National Cemetery.
About the stamp design:
Pictures the portraits of five servicewomen in a line looking to the left. The WIMSA Memorial Foundation sent Terri Williams (Army), Marialena Bridges (Marines), Christina Johnson (Navy), Theresa Barrett (Air Force), and Joey Brown (Coast Guard) to serve as models for the stamp. The idea was to have a group of women from a wide range of cultural/ethnic backgrounds to represent the diversity of those who serve in the armed forces.
Special design details:
Artist chosen to bring the design to life was Dennis Lyall (previously worked on some of the Great Americans, American Innovators, and polar explorers stamps). The artist adjusted the features of the five women so as to avoid any controversy over picturing living people on a stamp.
First Day City:
The stamp’s First Day of Issue Ceremony was held at the WIMSA memorial just before the memorial itself was dedicated.
History the stamp represents:
Women soldiers have served our country since the American Revolutionary War. 33,000 women served in World War I, and 500,000 participated in World War II. During the Korean War, 120,000 women were in uniform. During the Vietnam War, 7,000 women were deployed. In the Gulf War, 44,000 women served, amounting to 7% of the total US force.
Women have served with distinction as nurses, pilots, training specialists, clerks, and in many other capacities – sometimes even illegally as combat soldiers. Yet, the efforts and sacrifices of America’s 1.8 million women veterans have seldom been recognized.
This stamp was issued in conjunction with the dedication of the Women in Military Service for America Memorial on Spetmber 18, 1997. Located on a four-acre site at the grand entrance to Arlington National Cemetery in Washington, DC, the memorial’s fundamental purpose is to document and preserve the individual and collective histories of women who have served in defense of America.
At the center of the memorial is the Hall of Honor. It recognizes women killed in service, prisoners of war, those who took heroic measures, and other exceptional role models and female leaders.