The U.S. Postal Service is honoring the 75th anniversary of the USS Missouri battleship's commissioning by issuing a commemorative stamp of the ship.
The USS Missouri served in the Pacific during the invasions of Iwo Jima, Okinawa — and more famously was at the scene of the Japanese surrender Sept. 2, 1945.
A ceremony held Tuesday at the Missouri Capitol celebrated the stamp and the battleship.
Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft read a proclamation from Gov. Mike Parson during the ceremony.
"The battleship was known as 'Mighty Mo' and had one of the most historic roles in WWII," Ashcroft read. "Whereas the USS Missouri was the last battleship built by the United States, when you get to perfection you stop."
The proclamation also was to be read at a Tuesday ceremony at Pearl Harbor where the stamp was unveiled on the USS Missouri itself.
"It is a great privilege to read this proclamation," Ashcroft said. "I can think of no greater emblem of the U.S. Navy than the great battleship Missouri."
Cole County Presiding Commissioner Sam Bushman, Jefferson City Mayor Carrie Tergin, members of Sen. Josh Hawley's staff, and other state representatives and senators attended Tuesday's ceremony.
Also in attendance was Charlie Guthrie, who served on the USS Missouri in 1991.
"I wasn't on it for the surrender, I'm not that old," Guthrie joked. "I boarded her right as she got back from Desert Storm, and then I got orders to go back to Missouri."
Guthrie served in the U.S. Navy for 23 years, retiring in 1996. He joined the Navy when he was 26 to follow in the footsteps of his father, who was a sailor during WWII. He plans to attend the ceremony at Pearl Harbor next year honoring the 75th anniversary of the Japanese surrender.
"It means very much," Guthrie said. "For me to be able to walk on the same deck that Harry Truman walked on, it was just very near to my heart. It's an honor to be called a battleship sailor."
Guthrie said he had not returned to Hawaii since the ship was moved there and noted he is representing sailors from Missouri who served on the USS Missouri.
Bushman, who is involved with the Navy League of the United States, said they are gearing up for the ceremony at Pearl Harbor next year. The Navy League of the United States is a nonprofit civilian organization that supports America's seas services.
"What we want to do is find anyone who served on the USS Missouri during the surrender and fly them out to the ceremony for no charge," Bushman said. "They deserve to be there."
Anyone who served on the USS Missouri or knows someone who did is encouraged to contact Bushman. He can be reached via email at [email protected]
The USS Missouri stamp is a Forever stamp that anyone can purchase at the post office.