BAY SHORE, NY (PIX11) — A large contingent of the FDNY showed up in person to bid a final farewell to firefighter William “Billy” Moon in Bay Shore late Thursday morning.
They were joined by first responders from across the Northeast in a ceremony that had thousands in attendance. Still, it was the people closest to Moon who provided the clearest picture of who the fallen firefighter was, and what he meant to the people he’d loved, and served.
Moon, 47, was a 20-year veteran FDNY firefighter who’d spent most of his career at Ladder Company 133 in Queens, but was selected last January to join Rescue 2, an elite unit within the department. He also was the chief of the fire department in Islip.
Before the funeral mass, the president of the United Firefighters Association, Andrew Ansbro, spoke for all of his fellow firefighters when he said, “Everyone that knew him loved him.”
Moon lost his life earlier this month when he fell 20 feet during a training exercise with his unit, Rescue 2, in Brooklyn.
On Thursday, his wife, Christina, daughter Breonn, and son Colin — who was wearing some of his father’s uniform — stood in silence as Moon’s flag-draped casket was brought into St. Patrick’s Church. There, Mayor Eric Adams and Fire Commissioner Laura Kavanaugh were among the speakers.
“I cannot thank you enough,” the mayor said, “for giving us your son, your husband, and to Colin, your dad.”
Kavanaugh talked about Moon’s sacrifices for others.
“Billy understood that his commitment to his community was so much larger than himself,” she said, as she described how his being an organ donor — and his reputation for encouraging other rescue workers to do the same — saved five people’s lives, including those of two FDNY members.
At the mass, the words of Moon’s children and his wife had the strongest resonance.
Colin, the firefighter’s son, could barely see over the pulpit to read a statement he’d written to honor his father.
“One thing is,” the boy read, “he says his favorite job is fireman, but it really is being a dad.”
His wife, Christina, ended her remembrance by addressing her fallen husband directly.
“Billy, you are my best friend. You will be our forever hero. We love you, 100 percent,” she said.
It was to her and the children that senior fire officials, on bended knee, presented Moon’s helmets after the funeral mass. Then, a helicopter flyby heralded a procession from the church to the cemetery, William “Billy” Moon’s final resting place.
Moon was the 1,159th member of the FDNY to die in the line of duty.