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Thousands Mourn Boys Killed When Sandy Tore Them from Mom's Arms

By  Sonja Sharp and Alan Neuhauser | November 9, 2012 1:24pm 

KENSINGTON — The two little boys killed when floodwaters swept them from their mother's arms united New York in grief Friday.

Thousands of mourners lined streets outside St. Rose of Lima Roman Catholic Church in Kensington for the funeral of Brendan and Connor Moore, brothers who died when their mom lost her grip on them as Hurricane Sandy tore across Staten Island.

The boys, 2 and 4, were laid to rest side by side in a single white coffin in Green-Wood Cemetery in Sunset Park.

Their parents, Glenda and Damien Moore, gripped each others hands, weeping as the tiny casket was carried past them.

"Faith tells us we have two little angels in heaven, but we've lost two beautiful little boys," Department of Sanitation Chaplain Peter Colapietro, who led the funeral, said to reporters.

"This is especially difficult. There are no words."

The service was packed with hundreds of city sanitation workers, there to support the boys' dad who was at work for the department when the tragedy happened.

Their mom had been trying to escape Staten Island during the height of the storm last week when her Ford Explorer stalled on Father Capodanno Boulevard.

She desperately tried to hold onto her boys, but they were swept away in the waters, the woman later told police.

The bodies were found three days later near McLaughlin Street and Olympia Boulevard.

"St. Paul tells us that there is nothing that can separate us from God's love, and if we believe that, too, then there is nothing that can separate you and the rest of the family from Brendan and Connor's love," Colapietro told mourners during the service.

"Nothing can separate you from their love."

As Brendan and Connor were being remembered in Brooklyn, another memorial service was being held in Donegal, Ireland, where their father grew up.

"I've been to Staten Island, Rockaways, Breezy Point, but somehow this one really captured people," said Noel Kilkenny, New York consul general for Ireland, who attended the service in Brooklyn.

"The idea of two little children swept away from their family's arms is really, really tragic."