Meadowbrook post office dedicated to fallen soldier

Published 3:57 pm Monday, September 24, 2018


For the Reporter

HOOVER – The USPS Birmingham Post Office Meadowbrook Station is officially the Lance Cpl. Thomas E. Rivers Jr. Post Office Building, in honor of a Hoover man killed in enemy action in Afghanistan on April 28, 2010.

A dedication ceremony at the post office on Sept. 18 instituted the new name, featuring reflections by Alabama Rep. Gary Palmer and remarks by USPS officials.

“Today is a day … we memorialize someone who paid the ultimate price for our country,” Palmer said. “I don’t like to say that any of our soldiers lost their lives; they gave them up freely.”

The Lance Corporal Thomas E. Rivers Jr. Post Office Building is the product of Palmer’s bill H.R. 4646, which moved to designate the post office in Rivers’ name and was signed into law by President Donald Trump on July 24, 2018, according to a press release from Palmer’s office.

Palmer is a personal friend to the Rivers family and said he will never forget receiving the phone call notifying him of Rivers’ death.

“Another sacrifice was made on the altar of freedom,” he said.

Rivers was 22 years old.

Rivers’ parents, Dr. Thomas Rivers Sr. and Charon Rivers, alongside Palmer and USPS Alabama District Manager Susan Aronson, unveiled a plaque of tribute to Rivers during the ceremony.

Charon Rivers said that when her son was killed, she wanted more than anything for him to be remembered for his sacrifice.

“I couldn’t think of a better way,” she said, indicating the plaque and the postal space brimming with family, friends and guests. “He truly will be remembered for what he did.”

Other contributions to the ceremony included a prelude by the Briarwood High School Band and patriotic vocal performances by Audrey Jowers and Jason Powell.

Rivers was a graduate of Briarwood High School, and is survived by his parents, sister Rachel and grandparents Col. and Mrs. Charles R. Doke.

He was the first soldier killed in action to be interred at the Alabama National Cemetery in Montevallo, according to the release.

The Lance Corporal Thomas E. Rivers Jr. Post Office Building is located at 1900 Corporate Dr. in Birmingham.