Remember 9/11: The Story of NYPD Officer Moira Smith

NYPD Police Officer Moira Smith was the first officer to report the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 when she saw the first plane strike the first tower of the World Trade Center. Smith, a 13-year veteran, ran into the towers and immediately began assisting in the evacuation.

Displaying outward calm, Officer Smith was last seen heading back into the South Tower to help evacuate more people, and in the immediate aftermath of the collapse of that tower a brief radio transmission from a female officer calling for help was recorded and later identified as Smith.

14292319_1291157760929365_4804759868413397299_nOfficer Smith’s remains were recovered in March 2002, and her shield and ’13’ collar brass (seen in the background and indicating her assignment to the 13th Precinct), are preserved in the 9/11 Museum in New York City.

She was the only NYPD female police officer to perish at Ground Zero.   She was survived by her 2-year-old daughter and her husband.

Her coolness under pressure was remembered by a survivor, Martin Glynn:

“The mass of people exiting the building felt the calm assurance that they were being directed by someone in authority who was in control of the situation. Her actions even seemed ordinary, even commonplace. She insulated the evacuees from the awareness of the dangerous situation they were in, with the result that everything preceded smoothly.”

An extensive biography was written on Moira and it includes interviews with her husband and daughter.  You can read that here.





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  1. Fred

    May all the innocent people who lost their lives on that day of infamy rest in peace.

  2. Plunkitt_of_Tammany_Hall

    Moira Smith was not “the only female police officer to perish at Ground Zero.” Among the 37 Port Authority PD officers who died that day was Captain Kathy Mazza. Captain Mazza performed extraordinary duty on 9/11, including shooting out the glass walls of the mezzanine to allow hundreds of people to escape. You can read more of her story here:

    • Law Officer

      Thank you for the information and the story. We have corrected our story and look forward to telling Captain Mazza’s soon.

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