September 11th Hero to Have Playground Named in Her Honor

New York, March 10, 2012 – Today, City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, New York City Police Commissioner Raymond W. Kelly and New York City Parks Commissioner Adrian Benepe, gathered in a naming ceremony of Madison Park Playground in midtown to Police Officer Moira Smith Playground in honor of New York City Police Officer Moira Smith. Moira Smith is credited with saving hundreds of lives on September 11th, 2001. Her heroism of that day and her passion for the community and her work has resonated throughout New York City. Jim Smith, widower, and Patricia Smith, daughter, were in attendance to remember the inspirational public servant.

“It takes a person of especially strong moral fiber to be a police officer and to devote one’s life to ensuring the well-being of others.” said City Council Speaker Christine C. Quinn. “It takes fortitude of an even higher order to be willing to make the ultimate sacrifice during the darkest moments in the City’s history—as Officer Moira Ann Smith did. Officer Smith answered the call of duty that fateful day and successfully evacuated hundreds of people out of Tower Two, valorously returning time and time again to save more lives. It is because of Officer Smith and committed citizens like her that we are still able to celebrate our many freedoms and privileges as New Yorkers and Americans. With this dedication, the City of New York humbly thanks and commemorates this selfless hero, mother and wife.”

“People who survived the World Trade Center attacks will tell you they remember Moira, a beacon of calm in the chaos, leading the injured to care,” said Police Commissioner Raymond W. Kelly. “Each time she left to help someone, she went back in — no doubt, she saved hundreds on September 11th. Even from the distance of more than a decade, her actions are extraordinary, but her conduct should be no surprise. A decade earlier, with just three years on the job, Moira pulled survivors from the wreckage when a train derailed – actions for which she won a Distinguished Duty medal. She also responded when a bomb exploded in a subway car on Fulton Street, injuring 40 people in 1994. Moira was a natural first responder with courage to spare, and I can think of no better individual than Moira Smith to invest this playground with her spirit. I thank Speaker Quinn and Parks Commissioner Adrian Benepe for making this renaming possible. The Police Department and this city will never forget Moira Smith, or her family.”
“We are honored to dedicate the playground at Madison Square Park in memory of Police Officer Moira Smith,” said Parks Commissioner Adrian Benepe. “As children play, they can be inspired by the dedication and sacrifice embodied in the playground’s namesake. We are grateful to City Council Speaker Christine Quinn and Police Commissioner Ray Kelly for advocating for a naming which honors a true City hero who gave of her life trying to save others during the attack of 9/11.”

“The Madison Square Park Conservancy is proud to have the playground named after a true New York hero,” David Berliner, Chairman, Madison Square Park Conservancy. “As partners with the city in operating this great public space, we are committed to keeping the Police Officer Moira Ann Smith Playground and its surrounds beautiful and welcoming for all to enjoy.”

“Police Officer Moira Smith gave her life protecting the people of our city,” said State Senator Liz Krueger. “The highest honor we can give her and all the heroes who gave their lives saving others that day is to remember them, their service, and their sacrifice.”

“Police Officer Moira Smith was a brave New Yorker who gave her life to save others on 9/11, and she was a devoted mother who cared for and supported her family,” said Congressman Jerrold Nadler. “It is a fitting tribute to her life to name this playground in her honor, so that the community she served has an enduring legacy of her selflessness and commitment.”

“On September 11, 2001, when our City and our nation were the target of horrendous terrorist attacks, many brave first-responders rushed to the World Trade Center, disregarding personal safety to try to save lives and help workers escape the burning buildings,” said New York State Senator Thomas K. Duane. “Tragically, some of these heroes, like Officer Moira Smith, made the ultimate sacrifice and lost their lives. I am proud to join NYC Council Speaker Christine Quinn, NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly, NYC Parks Commissioner Adrian Benepe and other elected officials in rededicating this park in honor of Officer Smith for the exceptional courage and selflessness she showed on that dreadful morning.”

“New York lost 23 members of our police force on September 11th, 2011 – one of those courageous officers was Moira Smith, a native New Yorker whose devotion to the safety of the city won her the Police’s Distinguished Duty Medal, as well as the Medal of Honor,” said Manhattan Borough President Scott M. Stringer. “I extend my deepest thanks to Moira’s husband, daughter and sister for being a part of this ceremony, and I commend Speaker Quinn and Commissioner Benepe for their stewardship of this meaningful project. The renaming of this spacious and tranquil park will honor the memory of Moira Smith from a city that will be forever grateful for her sacrifice.”

“I hope that for decades to come, parents will explain to their children who Officer Smith was and what she did for us. While civilians fled to seek safety elsewhere, Officer Moira Smith rushed in repeatedly to save lives,” said Assembly Member Richard N. Gottfried.

“In renaming the children’s playground in Madison Square Park after Police Officer Moira Smith, we pay tribute to her memory, heroism, and selflessness as a law enforcement officer and a mother,” said Councilwoman Rosie Mendez. “The fact that its’ during Women’s History Month highlights her contributions as a woman in our society and to the history of the tragic events of 9/11 in this country as she was the only female police officer to perish in the attacks. The love that she held for her job and her country will be displayed everyday between children and parents in this playground that she was assigned to patrol—and that love is what we celebrate today.”

“Moira Smith was a 9/11 heroine and a dedicated police officer, but just as importantly, she was a wife and mother,” said Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney. “Naming a playground after Officer Smith is a fitting honor that will help the children of our city learn about the sacrifices made by so many to protect our city after the attacks. I commend Speaker Quinn and Mayor Bloomberg for this wonderful effort to recognize Officer Smith’s service to our city and nation.”

“Officer Moira Smith dedicated her life to the ensuring the safety and wellbeing of the people of our city. We are forever indebted to her for her service in the 13th Precinct and her heroism on September 11th, 2001,” said Assemblymember Brian Kavanagh. “I cannot think of a better way for our community to commemorate Women’s History Month than by rededicating the playground at Madison Square Park in honor of Officer Smith, a great woman and a great hero.”
About Police Officer Moira A. Smith, Shield # 10467

Police Officer Moira Smith was appointed to the Transit Police Department in July 1988. She served in Transit Districts 2, 4 and 30. She joined the 13th Precinct in March 1996.

While assigned to Transit District 4, Smith met her husband, James, who also was a police officer, assigned to the Police Academy. They are the parents of one daughter, Patricia.

Prior to joining the NYPD, Moira worked in the travel industry. She and James enjoyed traveling together and ran with the bulls during a trip to Spain in 1995.

Moira was 38 years old when she was killed in the World Trade Center attacks.