The Washington Post

Lives lost 10 years ago from anthrax attacks

A decade after two postal workers died and hundreds were stricken or exposed to a deadly strain of the anthrax virus, current and former employees of the U.S. Postal Service gathered for a sunrise candlelight vigil at the Brentwood Postal facility.

Postal employees Thomas Morris Jr., left, and Joseph Curseen Jr., right, died in Oct. 2001 from exposure to anthrax.

“I want people to realize that when the anthrax was found in this building it was a terrorist act,” said LeRoy Richmond, a retired mail handler who almost died because he was directly exposed to anthrax. His colleagues, Joseph Curseen Jr. and Thomas Morris Jr., died as a result of their exposure to anthrax.

“Two men died in this building,” Richmond said. “I want people to remember that those lives were not lived in vain. These men should be remembered beyond the fact that their names are now written on this building.”

The candlelight vigil took place prior to a private service for the Postal workers inside the Brentwood Postal facility.

Microbiologist Bruce Ivins, who worked at the Army’s Biological Warfare lab at Fort Detrick, Md., committed suicide while he was under FBI investigation for allegedly sending the anthrax-laced letters. No suspect was tried and convicted of the attack.

June Brown, a 38-year veteran of the postal service who worked at Brentwood, said this about whoever committed the crime: “Whatever their mindset was, they did not win. We persevered. We survived.”

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Hamil Harris is currently a multi-platform reporter on the Local Desk of The Washington Post.



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