LETTER: Mail service is vital

  • Posted: Sunday, December 9, 2012 6:00 p.m.
    UPDATED: Monday, December 10, 2012 7:21 a.m.

Mail service is vital

Mail delivery is vital to our American way of life. It’s the buy of a lifetime. Think of it.

Nine nickels – 45 cents – to send a message to Alaska.

Over the years, a notion of reliability has prevailed. In 1958, because it was considered the safest way to transport gems, a package containing the famed Hope Diamond was mailed from New York City to Washington, D.C. Sent by registered mail, the postage amounted to $2.45, along with an insurance fee of $142.84 to cover an indemnity of more than $1 million.

Stamps were first issued in 1847 at 5 cents each. “All U.S.” delivery followed in 1863 at 2 cents. It has taken 149 years to reach the current cost-per-stamp of 45 cents (a penny more come Jan. 27).

The motto: “Neither snow nor rain nor sleet nor heat nor gloom of night can stay,” etc., cannot be attributed to our postal service. It originated in 500 BC to describe the Persian system of mounted carriers.

In reflection, considering on how profoundly awesome a task dependable postal service has become, words of appreciation seems appropriate to all those involved in making its continuation a reality of life in this age of technical domination.

Harry Gleason

Aiken

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