The US Postal Service celebrated the stamps during a first-day-of-issue ceremony Monday at the Beale Street Landing in Memphis.

Pane of 10 Forever stamps

‘In addition to its many recreational and natural attributes, the Mississippi is also the backbone of the US economy — serving as a riparian superhighway, transporting more than 175 million tons of freight annually,’ said Gary Barksdale, chief postal inspector, who served as the dedicating official. ‘Today, we continue the Postal Service’s tradition of celebrating our nation’s wonderful heritage with the dedication of 10 truly special Forever stamps honoring the mighty Mississippi.’

Joining Barksdale were Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland, Memphis River Parks Chair Tyree Daniels, American Queen Voyages (AQV) founder and Chairman John Waggoner, AQV Riverlorian Frank Rivera and Quintin R. Smith, pastor of the Historical First Baptist Church of Millington. AQV Cruise Director Alex Bernhardt served as master of ceremonies.

Iconic symbol

‘Travelers have been captivated by the Mississippi River — romanticizing the steamboats transporting them from Minnesota to Louisiana — throughout history,’ Waggoner said. ‘Our flagship American Queen is an iconic symbol of those mighty paddlewheelers, and we are honored to have her grace the collection.’

David Sebben’s photo depicts American Queen near the city of Bettendorf on the Iowa stamp in the collection.