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Remembering a hero

Lewis helped dedicate several stamps

U.S. Rep. John Lewis speaks at the Dorothy Height stamp dedication ceremony in 2017.

U.S. Rep. John Lewis is being remembered this week as a civil rights icon and an American hero, but he also was a friend to the Postal Service.

The Georgia lawmaker, who died July 17, was a stamp proponent who spoke at several dedication ceremonies during his career, including To Form a More Perfect Union, a 2005 release that honored the civil rights movement, and a 2013 release that marked the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington.

During the latter ceremony, Lewis — an organizer of the march, one of the movement’s seminal events — recalled the huge crowd he saw when he delivered his remarks that day.

“When you looked to your right you saw all of these young people standing there. You looked to your left up in the tree [and] saw young men, young people, black and white, trying to get a better view. The March on Washington, in my estimation, was one of the finest hours in modern American history,” he said.

In 2014, Lewis was one of several lawmakers who helped Postal Service leaders dedicate a stamp honoring LGBT rights pioneer Harvey Milk.

“The tiny ripples that began more than 40 years ago began a tidal wave that swept through the Supreme Court and the nation, liberating gay couples in states around the country,” he said. “So thank you, Harvey Milk.”

Lewis also participated in a video tribute that was part of the Maya Angelou stamp dedication ceremony in 2015, and he delivered remarks at a 2017 event honoring Dorothy Height, the subject of that year’s Black Heritage stamp.

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