Senator Kirsten Gillibrand and Congressman Tom Reed announced today that the U.S. Postal Service has reversed its decision and will allow Zachary Smith's name to be placed on the outside of the Hornell Post Office branch.
Senator Gillibrand and Congressman Reed have been proactively putting pressure on the Postal Service to make an exception to its regulations prohibiting honoree's names to be placed on the outside of its branches.
"Zachary Smith is truly a hometown hero," Senator Gillibrand said. "He made the ultimate sacrifice for our country, serving with honor, integrity, and dignity. Naming the Hornell Post Office after him will honor his legacy and the legacy of so many other service members that have sacrificed their lives for the security of America. We must always remember them, honor the sacrifice of their families, and ensure that all our veterans have economic and educational opportunities when they return home."
"The sacrifices made by Zachary Smith and so many others should never be forgotten," Congressman Reed observed. "Like Senator Gillibrand, I was very frustrated that the postal service would deny the Smith family this opportunity to memorialize their son. I admire the family for their determination and I also thank Senator Gillibrand for her successful work to ensure that Lance Corporal Smith is honored in this way."
Zachary Smith died in action in Afghanistan on January 4, 2010. The branch was officially designated the "Zachary Smith Post Office" on August 3, 2010. Smith was memorialized with a plaque inside the building, but the post office would not allow Smith's name to be placed on the outside of the building.
After several meetings and conversations with Senator Gillibrand, Congressman Reed, and their offices, the United States Postal Service notified Gillibrand and Reed this week that it has reversed its decision and will allow the name to be placed on the building itself.