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Heroes of 2001

On September 11th, 2001, scores of emergency relief personnel showed the world what true heroism looks like, demonstrating allegiance to cause, comrades, and country in the face of unspeakable tragedy. The spirit of their remarkable resolve is captured in the now-famous photograph that inspired the stamp and this ingot: three firefighters as they raise the U.S. flag amidst the rubble of "Ground Zero." The flag is a particularly and understandably stirring component of this image. Since 1777, when Continental Congress passed a resolution sanctioning the creation of an official banner, the flag has proved an especially powerful symbol during times of strife, fostering in Americans a sense of national identity, hope, and patriotic devotion.

The celebrated scene depicted in this stamp ingot evokes comparisons with the flag-raising at Iwo Jima, and is especially compelling when recreated in three-dimensional sculpture. The stamp was issued in 2002 to honor the heroes of September 11th. Proceeds from both the stamp and the ingot provide assistance to families of emergency relief personnel killed or permanently disabled in connection with the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center, as well as to victims of that event.