By Lynn R. Parks

Seaford native and Metropolitan D.C. Police Officer Carter Moore was honored as a hero at Tuesday night’s city council meeting.

State Sen. Stephanie Hansen (D – Middletown) was at the meeting to present a Senate tribute to Moore, who was injured during the Jan. 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol.

Photo courtesy of the City of Seaford

“We recognize Officer Carter Moore for his heroic actions in defending members of Congress and the U.S. Capitol from insurgents on Jan. 6, 2021,” the Senate tribute reads. “Through his bravery and valor, Carter has brought honor not only on himself and his family, but on his home state of Delaware.”

Also at the city council meeting were state Rep. Danny Short (R – Seaford) and Marcus Wright, representing U.S. Sen. Chris Coons.

“The horrific events at the nation’s Capitol are well-known,” Hansen said during her address to the city council. “It’s important that we recognize that there were people there who put their lives on the line for our democracy. Some, like Carter Moore, faced a violent mob and paid for that with injuries.”

Moore was among the Metropolitan Police Officers who defended the Capitol’s Western Terrace doorway. “There, they engaged in hand-to-hand combat,” Hansen said.

All 58 members of Moore’s police company were injured. They were attacked with knives, poles, bats, bricks, chairs and bear mace. Moore’s sergeant was injured when his face mask was ripped off and his eyes sprayed with bear mace, Hansen said.

Moore himself was severely beaten with a baseball bat, rendering him unconscious and causing traumatic head injury and swelling of his brain.

“The right to peacefully assemble is constitutionally protected,” Hansen said. “The right to speak your mind is constitutionally protected. But there is no constitutional right to participate in a violent mob. Did any one of you ever think that in your lifetime, you would ever see such an awful, shameful thing happen in this country?

“We must do what we can to recognize and validate the heroic efforts of Officer Moore and his colleagues. That is why we are here tonight. We recognize what Carter did to protect us and to protect our democracy. He is a hero. And all in his company are heroes.”

Short, who presented Moore with a Delaware flag and with a challenge coin, said that he remembers Moore as a child when his dad used to bring him into the Seaford fire station. “You recognize when you have someone in your midst who’s going to do some special stuff,” Short said.

He added that all people who work in emergency services realize that the time may come when they are called to action. “The question then is, does your training kick in, and do you react and do the right thing? I wasn’t at the Capitol. But I can tell you, from what I’ve heard, it was one of those incidents in Carter’s life.”

Wright, who worked in the U.S. Capitol for two years, said that he always thought that it was the safest place in the world. He reminded the city council that, in addition to members of Congress and their staff, cafeteria workers and employees with the Architect of the Capitol were in the building the day that insurrectionists invaded it.

“It could have been a lot worse,” he said. “Carter and his fellow officers saved a lot of lives. I’m grateful. Thank-you for protecting my co-workers, thank-you for protecting people I call my family, thank-you for protecting my friends, thank-you for protecting democracy.”

In a letter that Wright read to the city council, Sen. Coons said that Moore “worked valiantly” to ensure the safety of the Capitol. “Your actions are a sobering reminder of what law enforcement officers take on every day. Your dedication to service was nothing short of remarkable. Your service in the Seaford Volunteer Fire Department, in the U.S. Army and in the Metropolitan D.C. Police is a testament to your allegiance to this mission. The state of Delaware, the U.S. Congress and all of America owe you a great deal of gratitude.”

Mayor David Genshaw congratulated Moore on his service. “We are so proud of you for doing the right thing,” he said.

Moore is the son of Michael Moore and Stephanie Smith and the late Mike Smith, all of Seaford. He was the 2013 recipient of the Mayor’s Right Choice Award, presented every year by the city council. 

By that time, at the age of 17, he had already put in more than 2,000 hours with the Seaford Volunteer Fire Department.

Councilman Jose Santos, like Moore a member of the Seaford High School class of 2013, said that both men were part of the school’s Junior ROTC program. “He really stood out among all of us,” Santos said. “He was a leader back then, and he’s a leader now.”