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“Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds.” —Herodotus, translated by Professor George Herbert Palmer

Since Colonial days in America, ages before the Pony Express saddled up or the Spirit of St. Louis took off, Postal Service workers have been heroes of the people.

“The Postal Inspection Service is the oldest law enforcement agency in the country, created in 1772—before the Declaration of Independence. Its mission is to protect and defend the nation’s mail system, and that includes elections.

Politico.com, Labor Day 2020

Postal workers not only take on the elements, to complete their appointed rounds, they see to it that abusers of the Postal Service are stayed.

“[The Postal Inspectors] are the same coppers who caught the Unabomber in 1996, and arrested former Trump-whisperer Steve Bannon for mail fraud a few weeks ago.”

Politico.com, Labor Day 2020

The “motto” is carved in granite, over the entrance to The New York General Post Office building in Manhattan, which opened to the public exactly 106 years ago, on Labor Day. The poetic words below are carved in the granite of another venerable Post Office building, now home to the Smithsonian Institution’s National Postal Museum, in Washington, DC:

“Messenger of Sympathy and Love / Servant of Parted Friends / Consoler of the Lonely / Bond of the Scattered Family / Enlarger of the Common Life / Carrier of News and Knowledge / Instrument of Trade and Industry / Promoter of Mutual Acquaintance / Of Peace and of Goodwill / Among Men and Nations”

―Dr. Charles W. Eliot,”The Letter” [slightly altered by President Woodrow Wilson]

A brief history of the “Motto” and “The Letter” carved in Post Office granite, reflected on the more than 469,000 heroes this year tasked with the delivery of perhaps half of all the votes cast – is found on this USPS webpage, which also contains this “stamp of approval for heroes”:

“While the Postal Service has no official motto, the popular belief that it does is a tribute to America’s postal workers.”

―Historian, U.S. Postal Service



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