Hornell, N.Y. --- The name of Marine Lance Cpl. Zach Smith finally appears on the outside of the U.S. Post Office building in his hometown of Hornell, N.Y.
"Something like this is definitely a celebration,” said Zach’s mother Kim Smith. “This will be up forever; this should've been up awhile ago.”
Smith, 19, was killed in Afghanistan three years ago last Thursday. In typical fashion the post office in his hometown was named after him following an act of Congress and the President’s signature.
A dedication ceremony in September 2010 marked that moment and the hanging of a small plaque inside the building. A second dedication in May 2011 included the presentation of a large stone gifted to the Smith family and commemorating the post office’s new name. But the stone wasn’t allowed to stay on the grounds; Smith’s name was not allowed on the outside of the building.
"That's still in my backyard it's still sitting there,” Zach’s father Chris Smith said of the stone. “They said no you can't put that back there. It's embarrassing, we've done it twice and his name's still isn't on there.
"Anybody that came and knew Zach they always wanted to see two things; they want to see the cemetery and the stone to pay their respects and they wanted to see the Post Office that was named after him and when they pulled up they'd always ask well where's his name? I said well we have to go inside and see a plaque.”
The Smith family was informed that the United States Postal Service had rules and regulations that prohibited Zach’s name, or anyone’s name, from appear on the building’s grounds. Regulations only allowed a small plaque to be displayed inside the building.