A Queens Village resident who died while saving the lives of others on Sept. 11 was honored Monday for her bravery by the state Senate.
New York City Police Officer Moira Smith, 38, along with two other emergency service workers, were recognized during Womens History Month by the Senates Women of Distinction exhibit, for their bravery in the wake of the Sept. 11 attack on the World Trade Center. The exhibition opened on the sixth-month anniversary of the attack.
Officer Smith was dedicated and selfless right up until the very end, said state Sen. Frank Padavan (R-Bellerose). On Sept. 11, she made the ultimate sacrifice while assisting hundreds to safety. Moira Smith was a hero, plain and simple, and she deserved to be honored in this exhibit. I was proud to nominate her.
Padavan said the combination of Womens History Month and the sixth-month anniversary of the attacks made for the perfect time to pay tribute and reflect on Smiths heroism.
Smith, a 13-year veteran of the NYPD who started her career in 1998 with the Transit Police, was among the first wave of law enforcement officials to arrive on the scene after the attack. Smith had been stationed at the 13th Precinct at 230 East 21st St. in Manhattan since 1997. She was last seen directing people out of a burning Tower Two before it collapsed.
She is survived by her husband, NYPD Officer James Smith, and their 2-year-old daughter.
The two women honored along with Smith were Port Authority Capt. Kathy Mazza, 46, and Emergency Medical Technician Yamel Merino, 24. Mazza died in Tower One helping to evacuate people and Merino died after volunteering to enter the burning towers.
The bravery Smith showed during the assault was not the first time in her career she had worked to save hundreds of people. In 1991 she received the departments Distinguished Duty Medal for rescuing commuters after a subway crash in Manhattans Union Square.
In 2001, Smith, who was born in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn, was picked as one of Glamour and Ms. magazines Women of the Year and was named the Woman of the Year by the NYPDs Policewomens Endowment Association.
It is important to remember that women were amongst the heroes of Sept. 11, Padavan said. By remembering and honoring Moira Smith, I am hopeful that her selflessness will inspire others. Her family can be proud. Shes and example of the best we as a people have to offer.
Reach reporter Adam Kramer by e-mail at Timesledgr@aol.com or call 229-0300, Ext. 157.
©2002 Community News Group
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