During his visit to survey Hurricane Sandy's damage to New York, President Barack Obama met privately with Glenda and Damien Moore, whose sons Brendan, 2, and Connor, 4, were swept from their mother's arms and drowned in the storm surge. The president, who "expressed... my heartbreak over what they went through," remarked that the Moores were "still obviously a little shell-shocked" but that the couple wanted to "thank you to all the people who have been supportive of them"—especially a member of the the NYPD.

On Monday, October 29, Glenda Moore was trying to flee in her SUV with the two boys when the car stalled. She carried Brendan and held Connor's hand as she tried to find someone to let them into a house. But she said no one let them in, and the surge forced the children from her. Obama said:

They in particular mentioned Lieutenant Kevin Gallagher of the NYPD, who, when they knew that their sons were missing, Lieutenant Gallagher made a point of staying with them and doing everything he could so that ultimately they knew what had happened with their boys and were able to recover their bodies, and has been with them as a source of support ever since.

That's not in the job description of Lieutenant Gallagher. He did that because that's what so many of our first responders do. They go above and beyond the call of duty to respond to people in need. And so I want to give a shout-out to Lieutenant Gallagher, but I also want to point out, the Moores, even in their grief, asked me to mention Lieutenant Gallagher, and that says something about them as well.

And that spirit and sense of togetherness and looking out for one another, that's what's going to carry us through this tragedy. It's not going to be easy. There's still going to be, believe it or not, some complaints over the next several months. Not everybody is going to be satisfied. I have to tell you the insurance companies and some of the other private sector folks who are involved in this, we need you to show some heart and some spirit in helping people rebuild as well.

Gallagher, 46, is a 24-year veteran of the NYPD who has received 64 police medals; he currently works in the Staten Island District Attorney’s squad.

The Moores buried their sons last weekend, with many Sanitation workers present (Damien Moore, an Irish immigrant, works at the Department of Sanitations).