Updated 05/08/2012 06:06 PM
Marine's parents push for post office rule change
The Hornell Post Office was renamed two years ago, when the city lost one of its men who was serving as a Marine in Afghanistan. But his name is not allowed to be put outside the building. Our Lara Greenberg tells us why and what the community is doing about it.
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HORNELL, N.Y. -- Since Kim Smith’s son died in Afghanistan two years ago, she remained a mother and wife, but changed as a person.
"I'm also the mother of Zach, the fallen Marine, and that's hard."
The death of Lance Corporal Zachary Smith rocked the small Hornell community in January 2010. Months later, a bill was signed and a ceremony held to dedicate the city's post office in his honor. But what that really meant was a plaque inside.
And while Smith says she appreciates the plaque on the inside of the building, she says she won't get full closure until her son's name is right above that United States Post Office sign.
"People that are here, they're waiting for it to be on there. They're like 'I keep looking.' And I'm like 'Well keep looking, but I think we've got a lot more work to do for that.'"
That's because it's Postal Service policy not to change the name outside the building.
"To avoid confusion. I mean, generally, postal facilities are named recognizing their location," said Karen Mazurkiewicz, a spokesperson for the U.S. Postal Service.
But Smith is fighting that policy with an online petition, which already has more than 3,000 signatures in less than a week.
"We're not fighting this just for Zach. If we can get this passed, there are other kids that are in heaven."
And she says they deserve to have their names recognized as much as Zach does.
If you'd like to sign the petition, head over to change.org.