New York 1 News

March 24, 2002

Funeral Set For Only Female Officer To Die In WTC Attack

Instead of celebrating NYPD officer Moira Smith's 39th birthday, family and friends will be mourning her loss Thursday.

Funeral services for Smith, the only female police officer to die in the September 11 terrorist attacks, are being held Thursday at St. Patrick's Cathedral in Midtown. Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Governor George Pataki will be among the dignitaries attending.

On Wednesday, the fallen hero was honored by New York Waterway. Smith's husband James, who is also a police officer and their 2-year-old daughter Patricia christened a new high-speed ferry in her name.

“We are today naming this ferry,” said New York Waterway President Arthur Imperatore,” after one of the great heroes of New York, Officer Moira Smith, so that her memory and the memory of all her brother officers can live on into the future and remind us of the true meaning of sacrifice and of courage and of giving.”

At the family’s request, Irish Claddagh, a design that symbolizes friendship, loyalty and love, was painted alongside her name on the ferry.

“This design embodies Moira's spirit,” said her husband. “There's a traditional saying that goes with the giving of a Claddagh: With these hands I give you my heart, and I crown it with my love.”

An officer sang Smith's favorite song, "Wing Beneath My Wings," and emotions ran high at the sight of Patricia dancing with her dad. The toddler took the spotlight back in December as she accepted a medal of honor for her mother, the first police officer to call in the attacks.

“I'm sure that Patricia, as she grows older and she sees that boat, she'll know that her mother was truly a hero,” said Joseph Esposito, the NYPD chief of department.

The “Moira Smith” is the second of four New York Waterway ferries to be dedicated to people linked to the World Trade Center. The first was named for Austin Tobin, who oversaw the construction of the twin towers. The “Moira Smith” will be used for ferry line’s new East River commuter service, bringing passengers from East 90th Street to Pier 11 at the foot of Wall Street.

Her family says naming a boat after the adventure-loving Smith is fitting.

“Fast boats, fun with family and friends in the water – that exemplifies Moira's personality,” said James Smith, “She was a woman on the go and loved to have fun.”