New York Daily News

February 15, 2002

Female Cop Hero Given Last Salute

She was mom, wife & cop

By MICHELE McPHEE Daily News Police Bureau

Officer Moira Smith's smile was her emblem, as etched on her face as the claddagh — the Irish symbol of love, loyalty and friendship — was on her and her husband's gold wedding bands.

Childhood friends, family and fellow cops recalled Smith's quick grin yesterday during a memorial Mass at St. Patrick's Cathedral for the only female NYPD cop killed Sept. 11.

The Valentine's Day Mass was held on what would have been Smith's 39th birthday.

Her husband, James Smith, a cop assigned to the Police Academy, told the hundreds of mourners who packed the church that the couple and their 2-year-old daughter, Patricia Mary, had watched "The Wizard of Oz" hundreds of times, but that it was only now that he has come to appreciate one of the last lines of the family's favorite movie.

"The Wizard told the Tin Man that a heart is not judged by how much you love, but by how much you are loved by others," Smith said.

Judging from the thousands of cops and dignitaries — including Mayor Bloomberg and Gov. Pataki — who lined six blocks of Fifth Ave. for her service, Moira Smith must have had a big heart, he said.

Before the service began, Jim Smith and his daughter were saluted by the sea of blue-clad officers who stood at attention with white-gloved hands pressed to their temples.

As the Smith family followed the slow procession of the NYPD's Emerald Society Pipes and Drums in a black limousine, little Patricia Mary sat on her father's lap in the front seat waving to the cops as her daddy kissed her brown curls.

Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly pointed out that Moira Smith was miles away from the burning twin towers on the morning of Sept. 11, but had rushed to the scene, gathered victims and witnesses, and brought them back to the 13th Precinct.

She then gathered a group of cops — including her partner, Robert Fazio — and returned to the chaos and carnage of Ground Zero.

A Daily News photograph captured the hero cop leading a bloodied, dazed man to safety, one of the dozens of lives Smith is believed to have saved.

Saving One More

Her fellow cops said it was no surprise Smith went back in, again and again, to help others.

"I know if I was standing next to her screaming in her ear to run, she would have gone back in to save just one more," said one friend, 13th Precinct Officer Lissa Navarra.

Twenty-three NYPD officers never emerged from the rubble that terrible morning, Smith and her partner among them.

"They changed history," Kelly said of the fallen cops. "They changed that day from one of total defeat and devastation to one of rescue and triumph."

Kelly also pledged that the NYPD would not rest until "those who are responsible for her murder are brought to justice."