Today, U.S. Senators Kirsten Gillibrand and Charles E. Schumer announced that the Senate has passed 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. The legislation has now passed both the House and the Senate and awaits all but certain approval by President Obama.
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 in May. Last night’s approval by the full Senate was the final congressional hurdle for the bill, and its passage now paves the way for the post office to be renamed.
“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. “The final passage of this legislation will ensure that the residents of Hornell will be able to forever remember and honor his courage and sacrifice.”
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.