By Michael Baadke
An unusual July 4 first-day ceremony will welcome 20 United States stamps celebrating the nation's natural beauty. The O Beautiful set of nondenominated (50¢) forever stamps will be dedicated during the Colorado Springs Philharmonic's July 4th Event: Summer Symphony.
The 7:30 p.m. ceremony will take place at Memorial Park, 1605 Pikes Peak Ave., in Colorado Springs, Colo. Kevin Romero, the USPS Colorado Wyoming district manager, will represent the Postal Service, and the orchestra will participate as well.
"With the release of the O Beautiful forever stamps, the U.S. Postal Service commemorates the beauty and majesty of the United States through 20 images that correspond with the lyrics of one of the nation’s most beloved songs, America the Beautiful, the Postal Service said in a May 17 press release.
"Each of the stamps features a photograph that helps illustrate one of five phrases from the song’s first verse: 'Spacious Skies' (top row), 'Waves of Grain' (second row), 'Mountain Majesties' (third row), 'The Fruited Plain' (fourth row), and 'Sea to Shining Sea' (bottom row)."
Inscriptions along the left margin identify the themes of the five horizontal rows, while the banner margin across the top features the song title, "O Beautiful."
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Details of the locations pictured will be revealed at a later date, according to the Postal Service.