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September 11 stamp raises $10.5 million

Money will go to families of rescuers

From Mike M. Ahlers
CNN Washington Bureau

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The "Heroes of 2001" stamp raised $10.5 million for families of rescuers killed or disabled in the attacks.

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September 11 attacks

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- A commemorative U.S. postage stamp honoring the heroes of September 11, 2001, has raised $10.5 million for the families of rescuers killed or permanently disabled in the terrorist attacks.

The government estimates that approximately 1,000 people or families are eligible for the money, meaning claimants would receive approximately $10,000 each.

The U.S. Postal Service sold the stamp -- which featured the iconic image of three firefighters raising an American flag amid the World Trade Center ruins -- for 45 cents. The price differential between the cost of a first class stamp and the "Heroes of 2001" stamp, after expenses, was designated for the fund.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is responsible for distributing the money and says it will be given to the families of emergency relief personnel killed or disabled in the line of duty at the World Trade Center, Pentagon and Shanksville, Pennsylvania, sites.

Firefighters, police, paramedics, emergency medical technicians, clergy and possibly others who responded to the attacks the morning of September 11 and the subsequent four days are eligible to apply for aid.

The Heroes Stamp raised $10,565,073, according to a notice published Tuesday in the Federal Register. The notice kicks off a 30-day public comment period on the proposed rule governing distribution of the funds.

The U.S. Postal Service sold the stamps from June 2002 through December 2004. The Heroes Stamp was the second "semipostal" stamp.

The first raised more than $25.6 million to benefit breast cancer research.

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