Today we remember Police Officer Moira Smith, 13th Precinct, NYPD. She was a member of the New York Police Department for 13 years.
Moira was only the second policewoman killed in the line of duty in the history of the New York Police Department.
She had been working in the Manhattan Police Station when the planes struck the World Trade Center and she rushed down to the scene voluntarily. She didn’t have to go down there that day, she chose to go.
On a number of occasions she was seen coming out of the World Trade Center, carrying people out, then going back in.
Many witnesses remember being escorted out of the building by Moira who calmly ordered the streaming mass of people off of the escalator and out of the lobby, not allowing them to stop to look at the destruction and horror of bodies and debris outside, preventing a jam.
She was captured by a news photographer helping a bleeding man out of the burning south tower and heard over her police radio directing people to safety.
Moments later the tower collapsed and she was killed, along with her police partner Robert Fazio.
Charles Barbuti, a lieutenant in the 13th Precinct and Smith's friend, says he would describe Moira as active, dedicated, courageous.
Every time Moira’s husband, Jim Smith, looks at their daughter Patricia, he sees the spirit of Moira. In a touching scene in December of 2001, the then 2-year-old ittle girl, dressed in a red velvet dress, accompanied her father onto the stage of Carnegie Hall to accept the Medal of Honor, the department’s highest accolades, for her mother.
Jim remembers a woman who above all loved to travel and experience the world to the full. He remembers that she ran with the bulls in Spain, played roulette in Monte Carlo and rode a camel in North Africa. But she loved nothing better than to drag friends and family off on trips around the U.S. in her Winnebago van.
Moira Smith ran into the south tower because she believed a "life lived in the service of others was the only one worth living," her heartbroken husband says. "I am grateful to have our child to raise, helping her to understand that her mother was and still is the pride of New York City.”
“If Moira was here, she'd be protecting the people of the city she loved, defending the nation she loved and keeping it from harm. But most importantly, she would be about the business of living."