- The Washington Times - Thursday, April 25, 2002

MANASSAS (AP) The Prince William County School Board decided yesterday against naming a new school after a volunteer rescue worker who was killed in the World Trade Center on September 11.
"I have had a hard time singling out one when so many suffered," said school board member Joan Ferlazzo, explaining the board's 7-0 vote to name the school Ashland after the subdivision in which it is located.
Jeff Simpson, a volunteer emergency medical technician, was in New York for business on September 11. He was last seen heading toward the towers as others were fleeing.
His body was found on March 24 at the base of the south tower, the first to collapse. Firefighters and Port Authority workers were found in the same location.
The naming of the school has been divisive. Many argued it would be unfair to single out Mr. Simpson when 20 other Prince William County residents died in the attacks.
Seven persons spoke before the school board, including James Ardaiolo, a fellow rescue-squad volunteer who collected the signatures of some 4,000 people in support of the Simpson memorial. He drew a distinction between Mr. Simpson and the other victims of September 11.
"Those innocents were slain in an unprovoked attack on our country and our way of life. But Jeff was more than an innocent. He answered a call of duty," Mr. Ardaiolo said in a statement. About 20 members of the Dumfries-Triangle Rescue Squad attended the meeting.
Diane Simpson, who did not attend the board meeting, has said the community division over the issue of her husband's memorial "just hurts my heart."
No one spoke against the proposal.

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