December 03, 2020

Warner & Kaine Celebrate Senate Passage of Bills Renaming Hopewell, Leesburg & Midlothian Post Offices after Virginians

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senators Mark R. Warner and Tim Kaine celebrated Senate passage of three bills to rename United States Postal Service (USPS) facilities in Hopewell, Leesburg, and Midlothian after three Virginians who made significant contributions to both the Commonwealth and the nation: Reverend Curtis West Harris, Norman Duncan, and Dorothy Braden Bruce.

“The renaming of these post offices reflects long overdue gratitude for the work Reverend Harris, Mr. Duncan, and Mrs. Bruce accomplished throughout their lives,” the Senators said. “We’re glad to see our colleagues support these bills that recognize the significant contributions these Virginians made in civil rights, transportation, and our military. We look forward to seeing these post offices honor these individuals who worked hard to uplift and protect our communities.”

The “Reverend Curtis West Harris Post Office Building” in Hopewell honors the life and legacy of Reverend Curtis West Harris, who long fought for racial justice and equity. Reverend Harris served as pastor of Hopewell’s Union Baptist Church for nearly fifty years, was the first African-American Mayor of Hopewell, and was also elected to serve in the Hopewell City Council from 1986 to 2012. He passed away in 2017 and was buried in Appomattox Cemetery, a site he first fought to integrate in 1960.

The “Norman Duncan Post Office Building” in Leesburg honors the life and legacy of Norman Duncan, a child of Jewish immigrants who was awarded the Legion of Honor for his service during World War II where he was promoted to the rank of Master Sergeant. After his service, Mr. Duncan worked in McLean as a transportation logistics specialist and advocate for minority participation in the transportation industry and was an active community member in Loudoun County. He volunteered his expertise on President Carter’s National Defense Executive Reserve and consulted on transportation logistics for President Reagan’s inaugural committee. He passed away in 2019, two months after attending the 75th anniversary and commemoration of the D-Day landings in Normandy.

The “Dorothy Braden Bruce Post Office Building” in Midlothian honors the life and legacy of Dorothy Braden Bruce, a Virginia native who served as a key codebreaker in a top-secret group with other women during World War II to help disclose locations of Japanese ships, disrupt enemy supply chains, and protect the lives of countless servicemembers. Despite Mrs. Bruce’s efforts contributing to Allied success, her role was kept secret for over 70 years while she continued to serve her community in Midlothian. She passed away in 2019 after finally being publicly recognized for her role as a codebreaker in 2017.

Senators Warner and Kaine have been strong supporters of the renaming efforts. They wrote to the Chair and Ranking Member of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, the Senate Committee that oversees the USPS, encouraging them to support the bills renaming the post offices after Reverend Harris, Mr. Duncan, and Mrs. Bruce. The bills were introduced by U.S. Representatives A. Donald McEachin (D-VA), Jennifer Wexton (D-VA), and Abigail Spanberger (D-VA) respectively.

The bills designate the USPS facilities located at:

  • 117 West Poythress Street in Hopewell, Virginia as the “Reverend Curtis West Harris Post Office Building”
  • 15 East Market Street in Leesburg, Virginia as the “Norman Duncan Post Office Building”
  • 1201 Sycamore Square Drive in Midlothian, Virginia as the “Dorothy Braden Bruce Post Office Building”

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