May 18, 2010

Gillibrand, Schumer Announce Committee Approval Of Bill To Re-Name Genesee Street Post Office After Zachary Smith

Smith, a Purple Heart Recipient and Hornell Native, Died in Combat in Afghanistan

Washington, DC – U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand and Charles E. Schumer announced that the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs has passed their legislation to rename the Genesee Street Post Office in Hornell in honor of Lance Corporal Zachary Smith, who was killed while supporting Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan.

Congressman Joseph Crowley sponsored a companion version of the legislation in the U.S. House of Representatives earlier this year, and the House of Representatives passed the legislation last week. Today’s approval by the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs is a positive step forward for the bill, paving the way for its consideration on the floor of the U.S. Senate. Schumer and Gillibrand vowed to get it passed in short order. Once the bill passes the full Senate, it will go to the President for signaure.

“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 in his community.”

“Zachary Smith epitomized bravery, patriotism and public service, but his life was tragically cut short,” Senator Schumer said. “ It will be an honor for the residents of Hornell to have the Genesee Street Post Office bear the name of this great American hero who will be enshrined in his hometown forever.”

Lance Corporal Smith, a 2008 graduate of Hornell High School, was deployed in December. He enlisted in the Marines while still in high school, and left for training in the summer of 2008. Smith was killed January 24 by an explosive device during a battle with militants on one of his first days of patrol supporting Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan’s Helmand province. Smith was assigned to the Marine’s 1st Battalion, 6th Marine Regiment, and was deployed from Camp Lejeune, N.C. Smith was posthumously awarded a Purple Heart on behalf of President Barack Obama and the Marine Corps.