It’s the 18 year anniversary of the deadliest terrorist attack ever on American soil and this week’s #WomanCrushWednesday goes out to NYPD officer Moira Smith, who is credited with saving thousands of lives on 9/11 – but not her own.
Moira Reddy was born in New York on Valentine’s Day, 1963. Her name was pronounced “ready” and she liked to joke that it meant she was ready for anything. Her childhood dream was to become a police officer. Even as a young girl, Moira was literally a lifesaver. When she was at camp in 7th grade, she saved a girl from drowning. She noticed her fellow camper struggling in the water before the lifeguards did.
Moira studied criminal justice in college and went on to the New York Police Academy, officially becoming an NYPD officer in 1988. In 1991, after a subway train derailment, Moira worked 24 hours straight, saving people from the wreckage. She herself suffered smoke inhalation and was awarded the Distinguished Duty Medal for her efforts that day.
Moira’s fearless and selfless heart sprang into action the morning of September 11th, 2001, when two jets hijacked by terrorists struck the Twin Towers. Moira was the very first person to report the attack, after she witnessed the first plane hit. She immediately took witnesses to the safety of the 13th Precinct (where she was assigned) and could’ve stayed there to interview them – but that wasn’t Moira’s style. She rushed back to the site of the disaster, before the second plane hit, to rescue more people. Moira went to the underground concourse of the doomed tower and started directing people out. Witnesses report she was calm but authoritative, repeating “Don’t look! Keep moving!” while using her flashlight to show folks the way out. Moira’s preternaturally pacific demeanor helped prevent mass hysteria, which no doubt would’ve resulted in more lives lost. It’s estimated Moira and her fellow first responders saved 30,000 lives that day. Nearly 3,000 people died on September 11th, including more than 20 NYPD officers. Moira was the only woman. She left behind her husband, a fellow NYPD officer, and a daughter who was two years old at the time. A playground in Madison Square Park, where she patrolled regularly, is named after her.
#WCW #September11 #NeverForget #Fearless #Selfless #DoGoodBeGood