20th-Year Remembrance Event for Postal Workers Killed in Anthrax Attacks

October 27, 2021

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On October 21, the United States Postal Service and the Nation’s Capital Southern MD Area Local (NCSMAL) held a remembrance event for the two postal workers killed by the October 2001 anthrax attacks. Joseph P. Curseen and Thomas L. Morris were both postal clerks and APWU members who worked at the Brentwood, Washington, DC mail facility. 

In addition, Leroy Richmond was also honored and remembered. Leroy who was diagnosed with inhalational anthrax following the attacks, would go on to help the National Institute of Health’s studies of anthrax, and his blood was used to help the development of an anthrax vaccine. He died in 2019.

NCSMAL President Dena Briscoe, herself a worker at Brentwood during the attack and who led the fightback group “Brentwood Exposed,” spoke about the effects of the attacks that postal workers experienced. “There were many, many others whose trauma was never publicly spoken of, the pain never addressed, and lives forever changed. Many were hospitalized, some never returned to work, retired, resigned, and just moved on,” Briscoe said. 

“Thanks to the men and women who survived this ordeal for your continued service to the USPS,” Briscoe continued. “I hope and pray that each of you finds more peace, love, and understanding within your life experiences.” 

 APWU President Mark Dimondstein spoke at the commemoration, extending our union’s heartfelt sympathies to the Curseen, Morris and Richmond families, and raised that one of the most important ways to honor their legacy is to wage the continuing struggle for workplace safety.  

“I commend sister Dena Briscoe for her outstanding leadership and all the workers involved in the ‘Brentwood Exposed’ organization that fought so hard to defend the workers exposed to anthrax and hold management’s feet to the fire” said President Dimondstein. “Twenty years after these tragic events, the struggle continues to protect postal workers on the job as they come to work every day to serve the people and fulfill our mission as public servants. We must continue to look after each other and hold management accountable in keeping our workplaces safe and secure.” 

Around 150 people attended the event. A memorial bench to be placed in front of the Brentwood facility was unveiled with the names of the three fallen workers.


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