It’s great when leaders in government cross the aisle to stamp out the country’s biggest problems.
But it was literally a stamp on Thursday that brought Nevada’s top elected officials together.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., Sen. Dean Heller, R-Nev., and Republican Gov. Brian Sandoval were among the politicians that unveiled Nevada’s “forever stamp,” which commemorates the state’s 150th anniversary.
The stamp, which depicts an area of Fire Canyon in Valley of Fire State Park, was first shown at a press conference at The Smith Center.
“Nevada is truly one of our nation’s most beautiful treasures,” former Nevada Congressman and current U.S. Postal Service Board of Governors Vice Chairman James Bilbray said in a statement.
“With so much to choose from, it was difficult to decide on an image the size of a postage stamp to adequately depict Nevada’s revered beauty and history,” Bilbray said.
“We chose to feature the Fire Canyon in Nevada’s first state park, the Valley of Fire. The canyon’s natural sandstone formations are just one of the state’s breathtaking landscapes.”
Reno artist Ron Spears designed the stamp.
Sandoval thanked Spears for capturing the majesty of Nevada.
“We do have the greatest state in the nation. I’m so proud of our state, and I am so proud of all of you. So God bless the great state of Nevada and God bless the United States of America,” he said.
Reid thanked the U.S. Postal Service for honoring Nevada. Bringing the USPS into the “21st century” was a priority, he said.
He said he often tells people in Washington some of the lesser known facts about his home state, which has 300 mountain ranges and a variety of wildlife.
“We have some of the most beautiful land (here) in Nevada,” Reid said.
Heller told a story about his father growing a beard for Nevada’s 100th anniversary, and joked about challenging Reid to a beard-growing contest. Heller plans to grow a beard later this summer for the 150th, he said.
“I will shave it off November 1st,” he said.
The Silver State became the 36th state Oct. 31, 1864.
Aside from the various politicians who gave speeches, cowboy poet Waddie Mitchell also recited his poem “Dame Nevada,” the official state poem of the 150th anniversary:
“And as Nevadans, we should not forget
what native stories tell;
‘If we but live within her wishes,
we will prosper and live well.’
Contact reporter Mike Blasky at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow @blasky on Twitter.