On March 10, I joined New York City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, New York City Police Department (NYPD) Commissioner Ray Kelly, U.S. Representative Jerrold Nadler, New York City Council Member Rosie Mendez, representatives of the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation and Madison Square Park Conservancy, as well as the husband and 12-year-old daughter of NYPD Officer Moira Smith at a ceremony dedicating the playground at Madison Square Park in her honor.
Officer Smith, who for many years worked in the 13th Precinct, in which the playground is located, was the only female member of the NYPD to die in the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. On that horrendous day, before she perished in the crumbling towers, Officer Smith guided dozens of people inside the World Trade Center to safety, shielding them from seeing the horrors outside the windows as they made their way out of the building. It was only one of many times in her career that she had shown extraordinary bravery in the line of duty and drawn upon her instincts as a mother to calm others in the midst of chaos.
At the ceremony, Officer Smith’s husband, retired police officer James Smith, and her daughter, Patricia, noted how fitting it is that Officer Smith, who was full of life and laughter, will be watching over all the children who enter the playground that bears her name.
I applaud Speaker Quinn for having the initiative and persistence to make Police Officer Moira Ann Smith Playground possible. It was my honor, as someone who worked for years on the revitalization of Madison Square Park and who knows very well of the 13th Precinct’s ongoing efforts to keep it safe, to participate in the deeply moving dedication ceremony.