- The Washington Times - Friday, September 6, 2002

The House of Representatives yesterday passed a bill that would change the name of the U.S. Postal Service's Brentwood mail facility to honor the two postal employees who died of anthrax inhalation last fall.
The bill, sponsored by D.C. Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton, Democrat, would rename the 900 Brentwood Road facility the "Joseph Curseen, Jr. and Thomas Morris, Jr. Processing and Distribution Center," if passed by the Senate and signed into law by the president.
A spokeswoman said Mrs. Norton expects the measure will not have any problems being approved.
The bill passed the House by a unanimous vote.
"I'm very pleased and not at all surprised that Congress wants to rename the old Brentwood for the new facility this will become," said Mrs. Norton. "The name change will not only honor these two men, but hope will signify an attempt to render a new postal facility."
Mr. Curseen, born in the District in 1954, worked as a letter-sorting machine operator for 15 years and never missed a day of work. Mr. Morris, born in the District in 1946, first went to work at Brentwood in 1973 and was honored four times in his career for outstanding performance and service.
Both men worked on Line 17 in the Brentwood facility, the "hot spot" area that processed the anthrax-tainted letter to the office of Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle, South Dakota Democrat, in October.
Mr. Morris and Mr. Curseen both died hours after reporting to hospital emergency rooms with flulike symptoms Mr. Morris on Oct. 21 and Mr. Curseen the next day.
"We lost a couple of role models here," said Mrs. Norton. "Here were family men, men of faith, deeply involved in their community. It breaks my heart."
The bestowing of their names on Brentwood is a way to remember the past, while moving into the future, said Mrs. Norton.
"It helps the community around Brentwood to recognize that an honest attempt is being made to re-create Brentwood into a facility that all can enter without fear," she said.
"It will change the whole impression of what we've had to live with for the last year."
There is one concern, however.
"If we don't find a shorthand way to say the new name, I'm afraid people will continue to call Brentwood, Brentwood," she said.
The 29,000-cubic-foot postal facility is scheduled to be fumigated in the next few weeks, after a public meeting is held and some permits and minor engineering details are worked out, Postal Service spokesman Jerry Kreinkemp said.
"Once all the i's are dotted and the t's are crossed, then we'll proceed," he said.

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