Friday, September 11, 2015


Police Officer Maurice Barry - PATH Emergency Service Unit - P.O. Shield #1038

A Port Authority officer for 16 years, Maurice "Moe" Barry, 48, was assigned to the PATH commuter train system. The resident of Rutherford, NJ, upon hearing the reports of the terrorist attacks, was one of the first on scene when he rushed from Jersey City to Lower Manhattan and then into the North Tower to help in the rescue efforts. As thousands fled the searing flames and smoke of the Towers, Officer Barry was attempting to reach trapped and frightened workers on the upper floors. The last time he was seen, he was on his way to the higher floors to get people out.
Moe had a history of heroism - he was involved in rescue efforts during an airplane crash at La Guardia airport; he once climbed a bridge to retrieve the body of a person electrocuted there; he was involved in the rescue effort during the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center; and he rescued a woman from her home, by boat, during Hurricane Floyd. Moe was also a volunteer for the Rutherford Ambulance Corps.


Most of us can remember exactly where we were and what we were doing on dates of historic importance.

The day President Kennedy was shot I was on a 6th Grade field trip to the Museum of Natural History in New York City. I was sitting in the theatre at the Hayden Planetarium watching a presentation when the show suddenly stopped. The lights went on and it was announced over the PA system that President Kennedy had been shot. We were all told to go home.

The day President Nixon resigned I was at a Crosby, Stills and Nash concert in Roosevelt Stadium on Route 440 in Jersey City (it no longer exists – it has been replaced by condos). CSN announced that Nixon had just resigned and proceeded to break into a rousing version of "Ohio" (“Tin soldiers and Nixon’s coming…).

When the planes crashed into the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001, I was on a Parker Tours escorted bus trip to Ocean City, Maryland. At the time of the attack our group was at the Assateague Island National Seashore. We were not told about it until we had returned to the bus and were driving back to our hotel, where we were supposed to attend a welcome reception. The reception was cancelled and we all went to our individual rooms to watch the tragedy unfold on television.

On September 11, 2001, my client, and fellow Dickinson High School Class of 1971 graduate (although we did not discover this until many, many years later when he happened to notice an award I had received from my high school graduating class that was hanging on the wall of the Newark Avenue office and said that he graduated from DHS in 1971 too), Maurice “Moe” Barry was one of the members of the Port Authority Police Emergency Response Team, among the “first responders” to the initial attack, who were killed when the tower collapsed.

Moe always came in to have his tax return prepared on the very last day of the season, April 15, 16 or 17 of each year, a long-standing tradition he first began as a client of my mentor Jim Gill before I “inherited” the practice. Each year when we saw Moe we knew it was almost over. One year he came in on April 10th and we told him to go away and come back on the 15th. To honor Moe’s memory I no longer work on 1040s on the last day of “the season”. For me the tax filing season ends each year on April 14th (or 15th or 16th).

1 comment:

Chris Johnson, EA said...

Great and touching post, Robert. I enjoyed reading even though it is entirely unrelated to taxes.

Keep the good stuff coming on this blog, until I'm buried in my "2nd busy season" with all those returns on extension from clientele that don't bother giving me everything until the last minute. I'm guessing you've managed to weed out that type of clientele from your practice by now.