The post office in Baldwinsville is now named for a fallen Marine born and raised in the town. On Monday, a ceremony was held to dedicate the building.
Veterans holding American flags lined the auditorium of Baker High School. Friends, family and fellow Marines gathered inside to remember and honor Corporal Kyle Schneider.
Cpl. Schneider was 23 years old when he was killed in Afghanistan in June, 2011. He earned two Purple Hearts, Commendation Medal with Valor and the Combat Action Ribbon with Distinguished Service Action, among other honors, during his service.
He attended Baker High School and graduated from Onondaga Community College before enlisting.
The ceremony lasted a little more than an hour, during which elected officials, veterans and postal service administrators spoke about Schneider. The post office renaming was pushed through Congress last year by former Rep. Ann Marie Buerkle and Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand. Both attended the ceremony.
"When people come in with their little children and they say, mom or dad ‘who’s Kyle Schneider?’ I know they’re going to be able to tell them what a hero he was for this community. And what he stood for," said Ron Farewell, commandant of the Greater Syracuse Marine Corps League. "And some day, some little boy or girl is going to say, ‘momma, I want to be a Marine.’"
His commanding officer called him "the most squared away Marine he’d ever met."
Schneider's family looked on from the front row during the speeches. His brother and parents came on stage to unveil the plaque. His father, Rick, and mother, Lorie, then addressed the crowd.
Kyle’s mother, Lorie, says the plaque on the post office wall will keep at least the story of her son alive.
"When you walk in and see his picture there, you’ll know that a hometown boy became a Marine and protected his country and gave his life for freedom," Lorie said.
Monday’s ceremony ended with the high school choir singing a song written about Corporal Schneider.