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Wesson post office honors its own hometown heroes

WESSON — They lay their lives on the line every time they go towork, and their efforts are often unnoticed, but recently volunteerfirefighters were honored for their commitment to this town.

The Wesson Post Office dedicated a special commemorative stampin honor of the Wesson Volunteer Fire Department.

“Your willingness to devote your time and your energy is to becommended,” Postal Clerk Christy Smith told the firefighters. “Youspend many hours training. You even purchase some of your ownequipment and supplies.

“You respond to any emergency call at any time of the day ornight. You do this and so much more as a volunteer, withoutpayment,” she said, while handing the firefighters a framed pictureof the stamp.

The 45-cent stamp depicts three firefighters raising an Americanflag at “ground zero” last Sept. 11.

“While our community may not have been affected to the sameextent as New York by the terrorist acts of 9-11, we have come torealize that our local volunteer firefighters and first respondersare also on the front lines every day,” said Smith.

The firefighters, many of whom serve as first responders aswell, were touched by the speech and the presentation.

“It’s an honor that the post office actually recognizes us forthe job we do for the community,” said Fire Chief Randle Drane. “Ithought it was nice they were willing to do that for us.”

The Heroes of 2001 semipostal stamp is valid for postage at thecurrent first class mail, first-ounce letter rate. The rate is 37cents, with the 8 cents difference going to the Federal EmergencyManagement Agency (FEMA).

The tax-deductible net proceeds will be used to provideassistance to the families of emergency relief personnel killed orpermanently disabled in the line of duty in connection with lastyear’s terrorist attacks.

The stamp has been dedicated to a number of fire departmentsaround the country. Each post office has the choice of whether ornot to dedicate the stamp.

“We wanted to participate to let them know we appreciated whatthey do and recognize what they do for us every day,” saidSmith.

The framed picture of the stamp will found a permanent place inthe Wesson Volunteer Fire Department. Once renovation on thestation is complete, Drane said the department will hang thepicture so firefighters see it when they walk in the frontdoor.