A few of our stories and columns are now in front of the paywall. We at The Chief-Leader remain committed to independent reporting on labor and civil service. It's been our mission since 1897. You can have a hand in ensuring that our reporting remains relevant in the decades to come. Consider supporting The Chief, which you can do for as little as $3.20 a month.
Family, friends and fellow firefighters assembled in St. Patrick’s R.C. Church in Bay Shore, Long Island, Thursday to bid their final goodbyes to FDNY Firefighter William P. Moon II, remembering him as a selfless, dedicated and hardworking firefighter, and a kind and caring husband and father.
“Billy Moon was our dream. He was a dream to have on our rig even for the short time and he made us all better,” said FDNY Captain Liam Flaherty of Rescue 2 in Brooklyn, Moon’s firehouse since earlier this year.
Moon, 47, suffered a fatal head injury Dec. 12 when he fell while preparing for a training drill at the Crown Heights firehouse.
“Firefighter William P. Moon II, or Billy as everyone called him, exemplified the FDNY in every way,” FDNY Commissioner Laura Kavanagh during her eulogy. “He was not a hero because he was superhuman; he was a hero because he was a man who chose to dedicate himself more fully to those around him every single day.”
A 21-year veteran of the FDNY, Moon started his career at Ladder Company 133 in Queens and stayed there 20 years before transferring to Rescue Company 2, an elite unit of specialized rescue firefighters.
Moon, the married father of two, lived in Islip, where he also served on the town’s Volunteer Fire Department, starting there when he was 19 years old, and where he was named chief in 2017, as his father, a Vietnam War veteran, had once been, and now his son, Colin, one day hopes to be.
Following his death, Moon’s family donated his organs, according to his wishes. As in life, he helped prolong the lives of others, including that of Terrence Jordan, a retired firefighter and 9/11 first responder, who received Moon’s lungs.
“Billy's lungs have literally breathed life into Terrence Jordan, and made him part of Terrence's story and the story of all of those who Terrence rescued that day at the Towers,” Kavanagh said of Jordan’s rescue work on 9/11. “And that so exemplifies Billy Moon. The perseverance, humor, kindness and optimism he put into being a husband, a father, a friend and a firefighter.”
‘Thread of service’
A wake for Moon was held Wednesday before Moon’s casket, draped in an FDNY flag, was brought to St. Patrick’s accompanied by fire engines and saluted by hundreds of firefighters from the FDNY and other departments.
Mayor Eric Adams, paying tribute to the fourth member of the FDNY to die on duty this year, noted the “thread of service” Moon exemplified in life and in death.
“We’re going to miss firefighter Moon,” he said. “He understood what it meant to be a firefighter. Courage, bravery and sacrifice. But he was a hero not only in life, just to think as he transitioned, he donated his organs to others. He’s a hero in death and that’s a real reflection of who he is as a person.”
He pledged the city’s support to Moon’s wife and their children. “All I can say to this family, we are here with you. We will continue to be with you,” Adams continued, addressing Moon’s wife, son and daughter, Brianne. “I cannot thank you enough for giving us your son, your husband, and Colin, your dad.”
Moon’s wife, Kristina, the last to speak at the service, spoke of the connection she and her husband shared, and of how much he loved being a father. “For Billy it was never about making himself better but about what could be done to better serve those around him. The fire department is a family and I’m eternally grateful for that family and our own,” she said. “Billy, you were my best friend and you will be our forever hero. We love you 100 percent.”
No comments on this item Please log in to comment by clicking here