From the husband of an NYPD police officer who died on 9/11 comes an invitation to Sen. Ted Cruz.
“Senator Cruz, I was disappointed by your disparaging remarks about New York values somehow being different from Iowa and New Hampshire values,” read a Facebook post by retired NYPD Police Officer Jim Smith, husband of fallen Police Officer Moira Smith. “I invite you to come to the National 9-11 Memorial and Museum and see for yourself, and perhaps learn something about, the values of New Yorkers and the Heroes who defended American values on September 11th, 2001.”
The remarks in question accompanied Cruz’s suggestion that Donald Trump play “New York, New York” rather than “Born in the USA” at campaign rallies.
“Because Donald comes from New York and he embodies New York values,” Cruz then said.
Should Cruz now accept the invitation, he will see the name Moira Smith among those of hundreds of others who truly did embody New York values and therefore American values. A famous photograph taken on 9/11 shows Moira Smith leading a bleeding executive to safety from the South Tower.
The 38-year-old cop then returned to direst danger and is credited with saving hundreds of lives. Another surviving executive would remember the evenness of her voice and the steadiness of her eyes as she kept people moving when they otherwise would have frozen at the sight of the horrendous carnage in the plaza.
“Don’t look, keep moving,” she said again and again.
She was still there, urging others to safety, when the tower came down. Her 2-year-old daughter, Patricia, later accepted the NYPD Medal of Honor on her behalf and stood with the emerald green ribbon around her neck, the eight-pointed gold star hanging just above her knees.
Moira Smith’s battered shield, number 10467, was recovered from the ruins. Jim Smith would be sure to show it to Cruz on display along with her gun belt at the September 11 museum.
When Cruz emerges from the museum to stand where Jim Smith’s wife died, the Texas senator will be able to look across West Street from the memorial to the headquarters of Goldman Sachs, his own wife’s employer.
As has been reported in The New York Times, Heidi Cruz borrowed as much as $500,000 from the Wall Street mega-firm where she is a managing director to help bankroll her husband’s 2012 run for Senate. A Cruz spokeswoman says his failure to disclose the Goldman Sachs loan was “inadvertent.” The spokeswoman could not explain how the half-million from the vampire squid jibes with the touching tale Ted Cruz has told of telling his “sweetheart” that he wanted to “liquidate our entire net worth, liquid net worth, and put it in the campaign.”
Now running for president, Cruz has an even bigger need for money. And when he came to New York in December, it was not to visit the 9/11 Memorial. The man who talks about carpet-bombing ISIS in fact skipped a Senate hearing on ISIS to attend a Madison Avenue fundraiser. A $2,700-per-person “VIP reception” was followed by a $1,000-a-plate luncheon. The event was hosted by Joseph Konzelmann, a managing director at what else but Goldman Sachs.
Whatever values all that embodies, they certainly are not American values or, for that matter, natural born Canadian values.
If Cruz does come back to New York for a tour of the sacred ground across from prodigiously profane Goldman Sachs, he will find that Jim Smith is nobody’s liberal and not the least bit afraid to be politically incorrect. Smith proved that last November, after Glamour magazine named Caitlyn Jenner its 2015 Woman of the Year.
Fourteen years before, Glamour had posthumously named Moira Smith its 2001 Woman of the Year. Jim Smith now returned the award to the magazine in protest. He explained on Facebook that he was not acting out of some transgender phobia, as more than a few people assumed.
“As a police officer in NYC, my precinct covered a shelter for transgendered youth,” Smith wrote. “On several occasions I responded there to take reports or give aid to suicidal youths. I listened to their stories of physical, emotional and sexual abuse. Young people thrown out of their houses or fleeing from unlivable conditions. They didn’t have the luxury of being part of the Kardashian circus. They weren’t living in a Malibu Barbie beach house surrounded by what passes for family in Hollywood. They were truly brave people fighting hourly for existence. When Mr. Jenner said the hardest part about being a woman was deciding what to wear, he proved to me he was not truly a woman.”
Smith noted that the previous year’s honoree was transgender actress Laverne Cox.
“It was a good choice,” Smith continued. “If you don’t know who she is, look her up and contrast her story to Jenner’s. I truly believe Jenner’s award was a publicity stunt and cheapened a once prestigious award.”
He concluded, “Moira’s actions cannot be cheapened, but I feel the award was.”
On Thursday, the unfailing champion of Moira Smith’s memory took to Facebook again. And this time Jim Smith invited Cruz to come to Ground Zero and learn something about the many heroes who had died defending the values they themselves embodied.
Those values were so manifestly all-American that all of America was united in the aftermath.
Then came the politics and the politicians.
They now include Cruz and Trump, who said at Thursday night’s Republican debate that he was offended by the Texas senator’s earlier remarks about New York values. Trump spoke with seemingly real emotion about watching the towers come down. He said he had visited Ground Zero following the attacks, and by all reports he had.
“The cleanup began the next day,” he now said as a proud New Yorker.
But in his choice of words, Trump was Trump, whose values are only his own. What began even before the second tower came down was the rescue effort, followed not by a cleanup but a months-long recovery effort, the soul-wrenching search for the remains of the murdered thousands, including Moira Smith, wife of Jim, mother of Patricia, hero for us all.
If only we had a candidate who is anywhere near her equal.