Dangers, Disasters and Good Deeds

Terror in the Mail

Danger Without a Face

The tragic events of September 11, 2001 caused America to reel in grief and disbelief. Then, just one month later, another form of terrorism—bioterror— threatened the integrity of the United States Postal Service and the lives of its workers.

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Sign prepared by a child that reads, “Thank You Postal Worker for being so Brave!”

When anthrax was discovered in the mail in mid-October, postal employees faced the greatest threat in their history. This despicable act and insidious danger turned the U.S. mail into an instrument of evil and weapon of death.

Never before had such a poison been processed through the postal system. The transfer of anthrax spores through the mail gripped the nation with fear as it sickened mail handlers and murdered innocent people, including two USPS employees and three postal customers.

Postal worker wearing rubber gloves while sorting mail

Felled by Anthrax: The Brentwood Victims

During the anthrax crisis, more than 700,000 postal workers demonstrated uncommon courage by just showing up for work each day.

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Memorial service for two postal workers who lost their lives due to anthrax at the Brentwood postal facility.

Thomas L. Morris, Jr. and Joseph P. Curseen, Jr., did not choose a path that would put them on the front lines of America’s war against terrorism. Yet, they were required to make the supreme sacrifice when anthrax hit the U.S. Postal Service in October 2001. While working at the Brentwood facility in the nation’s capital, these courageous men suffered the intended terror of the anthrax mailer. In honor of the fallen postal workers, the Brentwood facility was renamed the Curseen-Morris mail sorting center.

Thomas Morris Jr.

Thomas L. Morris, Jr.

Joseph Curseen Jr.

Joseph P. Curseen, Jr.