Elmira/Corning Regional Airport

Getting Zach's Name Up

Written By: Joe Melillo

Zach Smith Hornell Post Office

Getting Zachs Name on the Post Office

     Hornell (WENY) - A community comes together in an effort to add a fallen marine's name to the front of the post office dedicated in his honor. A federal law says its illegal and now Lance Corporal Zach Smith's friends and family are fighting to change it, with the help of a local congressman.
    Lance Corporal Zach Smith was killed in action in Afghanistan January 2010. The Hornell post office was named after him later that year. Now Corporal Smith's family and hometown are fighting to get his name where everyone can see it, on the front of the building, but federal regulations don't allow it. A petition has been circulating for less than a week, and 45,000 people have signed it. The smith's hope that will be enough for the post office to change the rule. On the front wall of the post office in Hornell, right above the name of John F Kennedy is another plaque dedicating the building to Zachary Smith.
      
"It's I'm not begrudging that it's a very nice plaque we're very thankful but a lot of people have never even seen it,” says Zach's father, Chris Smith.
    
Zach's parents, Kim and Chris thought when the post office was dedicated to Zach, his name would be put on the front of building, and so did a lot of other people.
    
“People think that this is already a done deal why are we doing this we thought it was named after him, I said it is named Zach we just cant put his name on the front due to a federal law,” says Kim Smith, Zach's mother.
    
Less than a week ago, former Congressman Eric Massa's Chief of Staff Joe Racalto put together a petition on Change.org, asking Congress to reverse that federal law. On Capitol Hill, Congressman Tom Reed is writing legislation.
    
“Trying to go down the legislative route a little more aggressively and that's what the post office essentially told us that it was going to take an act of congress to do what needs to be done and that’s just ridiculous,” says Reed.
   
The Smiths say their push for change isn't only for their son, but for the country too.
    
“The small picture this is for Zach but the big picture is this is for everybody,” says Chris.
    
“Zachary is our driving force in this obviously because he's our son but we're not doing it just for him if we can can get this to go through and this can happen at other, it touches my heart,” says Kim.
     For more on the petition, click here:
 http://www.change.org/petitions/the-u-s-senate-honor-lnc-cpl-zachary-smith