Dena Briscoe, president of Brentwood Exposed, a postal worker's advocacy group, said the memorial service was about more than remembering the tragedy and delving into the questions that still remain about the tragedy.
"This memorial service was about remembrance of our co-workers that we lost back in the anthrax crisis and coming together with a positive message of healing and moving forward," said Briscoe. "So, it's pretty much a celebration for us to come together and be together on this day."
On Oct. 21, 2001, mail distribution clerk, Morris, 53, died from exposure to anthrax spores through the U.S. mail. The next day another postal employee, Curseen, 47, died. By the time what is considered by many to have been "the first bioterrorism attack on the U.S.," five people were dead, many more were seriously ill, mail service had been disrupted, federal buildings had been evacuated, and a country still reeling from 9/11 attacks, had been effectively terrorized.
Christopher J. Farrell, director of Investigations & Research for Judicial Watch, a nonprofit organization promoting government transparency, was among the guest speakers. After his formal comments, he said there were a number of missteps regarding the attack.
"They [government officials] knew the building was contaminated and they let it stay open for three and a half days," Farrell said. "There is no getting around that no matter how much talking you do."
Dr. Jeanne Guillemin, author of the recently released "American Anthrax: Fear, Crime, and the Investigation of the Nation's Deadliest Bioterror Attack," echoed Farrell's words and said it was the missteps by officials and her feeling of commitment and duty that led her to write her book.
"This was really a sense of service," Guillemin said. "That's why I wrote the book. It wasn't easy. It's a complicated subject."
Complicated or not, Briscoe said Friday's services were focused on remembering the two men and healing from the tragedy.
"I couldn't think of a more peaceful and a more serene place to be," she said. "The Basilica is a very uplifting place. It's a very soothing place to deal with our pain and our hurt."