Over the past three weeks, Irene and Ray Moore have traveled to Washington, D.C., Queens and Manhattan to attend ceremonies honoring their son, NYPD Det. Brian Moore, a Plainedge native who was shot and killed last year in the line of duty.
But Saturday’s event at Plainedge Park was more personal.
Hundreds of people gathered at the North Massapequa park where Brian played baseball and basketball as a kid. Fighting back tears, the Moores and Brian’s sister Christine Moore pulled down a black cloth to unveil a 6-foot-tall bronze statue of a smiling Brian Moore standing in his police uniform.
“There couldn’t have been a better place to pick to have Brian’s dedication than right here in Plainedge Park,” said Ray Moore, a retired NYPD sergeant who still lives near the park.
Brian Moore, 25, died on May 4, 2015 — two days after he was shot in the head while on patrol in Queens Village.
The statue will stand atop a granite base near the park’s playground — a tribute, Ray Moore said, not only to his son but to “all the men and women in law enforcement who go to work every day to protect us, never knowing if they’re going to come back to their families and loved ones.”
The Moores said they worked with the statue’s Minnesota sculptor to ensure it captured Brian’s personality.
“We explained Brian’s essence and the type of person he was,” said Irene Moore of Islip. “He was always smiling and cutting up. We wanted that to come through, and it did.”
She thanked the tight-knit Plainedge community, which raised the $50,000 for the statue and related expenses and, she said, ceaselessly supported her and her family.
On house after house throughout Plainedge on Saturday, blue ribbons honoring Moore were tied to lampposts, trees, fences and porch railings.
“The outpouring of support and emotion of the Plainedge community is mind-boggling,” said NYPD Insp. Michael Coyle, former commanding officer of the 105th Precinct, where Moore worked.
The unveiling took place near the Brian Moore Athletic Center, which the Plainedge school district recently renamed in the detective’s honor.
Moore’s parents said the ceremonies of the past few weeks have been a chance to highlight their son’s ultimate sacrifice and his commitment to helping others.
“It’s a tough time,” Ray Moore said. “It’s great he gets the honor, but it brings you back to when he died. But I’m so proud of my son and the way he’ll be remembered by the community as a hero.”