US Stamps

When were these Sept. 11, 2001, cancels created?

Aug 19, 2022, 8 AM

U.S. Stamp Notes by John M. Hotchner

September 11, like Dec. 7, will always have a special meaning, especially for those who lived through it.

I was on an airplane from Washington, D.C., on that Tuesday morning in 2001, providentially going south, not on the plane going west taken over by the al-Qaida hijackers. My wife was on duty in the medical division of the State Department and endured a brief panic when it was thought a plane might hit that building.

So I’m always on the lookout for covers that relate to that day. Thus, the covers shown in Figures 1 and 2 bring back memories. They are unusual because almost all commemorative covers I’ve seen are canceled days, months or years after the event. These two are canceled Sept. 11, 2001.

I believe the Figure 1 cover is genuine, canceled that afternoon at Fort Myers, Fla., with a cachet made from the first fuzzy images available on television. I received this cover in the mail within a week after Sept. 11.

The Figure 2 cover is another story. It bears a Sept. 11, 2001, cancel of the Philatelic Unit of the Worthington, Ohio, post office. I have to believe it was backdated. The Osama bin Laden label, which is under the cancellation, is unlikely to have been applied on Sept. 11 because his complicity was still a matter of speculation. The cachet could have been added later, but not the label.

I wonder how many of these were made?

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