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Hornell Post Office to Host Fallen Marine’s Name on Exterior
HORNELL, NY (WENY) -- In a landmark decision, the United States Postal Service will allow the name of fallen Marine Lance Corporal Zachary Smith dsplayed outside the Hornell Post Office.
Senator Kirsten Gillibrand and Congressman Tom Reed called Corporal Smith's family with the news. As the Smith family stood outside the post office Thursday afternoon, they were greeted with hugs and gifts from members of the community.
"It really hit hard when it happened, he really meant a lot to a lot of people, he was a really good guy," said Hornell resident Ali Yanni.
For the community it means a lot, it means a lot for everybody who knew Zach and for all the service members all the guys the guys in the service. I spent ten years myself in the service its about time they did something for these guys," said Bob Owens, of Burns, New York.
Lance Corporal Zachary Smith died in action January 4th 2010, while serving in Afghanistan. The community came together to get the Hornell Post Office named in his honor, but the only evidence was a small plaque on the inside. Yesterday, the postal service announced it will allow Zach's name on the outside of a post office. It's the news the Smith family was waiting for.
"He wont be for gotten and that's very important to us. He's more than a memory and that definitely memorializes him for years to come and that makes me very proud," said Zach's mother, Kim Smith.
Last Friday, July 6th, would have been the day Zach finished his service in the Marine Corps. To get this news almost a week later helps the family cope with the loss.
"It all starts wearing on you every little thing. Sometimes when you think about it, it's like every little thing that happens makes him a little deader, and this just helps a little bit.," explains Zach's father, Chris Smith.
And for his friends, every time they pass they Hornell post office they will remember the person Zach was.
"He was just a friend to everybody, nice to everybody didn't matter who you were where your from that's just how he was, he definitely deserves it... it was long long wait," said Zach's friend, Brittany Washburn.
The Hornell post office will be the first post office in the Untied states to have a name on the outside. Zach's parents say they are happy, but won't be satisfied until they see those letters up on the wall.