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Officer Bruce Reynolds


Officer Reynolds's Act of Heroism

Over 400 first responders lost their lives on September 11, 2001. Heroically performing their sworn duty, these firefighters, members of the NYPD and PAPD, and numerous other rescue workers will forever be remembered for their sacrifice.

My Hero

While most teenage boys were playing hoops or hanging out at the mall, Bruce Reynolds spent many of his adolescent days diligently tending to his neighborhood garden. People who lived in the Inwood section of Manhattan called it "Bruce's Garden" and watched the spectacular array of roses, evergreens, lilies, mums and violets sprout annually from the rich soil. For Mr. Reynolds, the garden offered serenity and tranquillity -- an appreciation he inherited from his father, J.A. Reynolds.

One day, when he was 12, Mr. Reynolds surprised his parents by announcing he wanted to be a police officer. That dream crystallized on June 23, 1986, when he joined the Port Authority Police.

On the morning of Sept. 11, Mr. Reynolds reported for his regular shift at the George Washington Bridge when the Twin Towers were first hit. Mr. Reynolds and other Port Authority officers were sent to the scene. A fellow officer, out of concern for Mr. Reynolds' respiratory problems, told him to stay outside. But Mr. Reynolds was last seen rushing in, determined to help people make it out of Two World Trade Center. The 41-year-old Knowlton resident leaves behind two young children, Brianna, 4, and Michael, 1.

"He was a good cop. Everything he did was always the right thing," said officer George Hickmann, who was Mr. Reynolds partner for 16 years. "If you could exemplify the qualities you'd want in a police officer, he was it."

Mr. Reynolds loved to fish, take trips to Ireland and of course, garden. Two weeks ago, he returned from another trip to Donegal, his wife's hometown, where he had become a local celebrity. "Even though we lived there all of our lives, people stop and have a conversation with Bruce when we went to all the shops," said brother-in-law Michael McBride.

Mr. Reynolds had a deep appreciation of Irish culture and believed it was important for his two children to connect with their Irish roots. He recently sent Brianna to Ireland for seven weeks to stay with relatives, and she returned with an Irish brogue. "He had a great love for the Irish people, and they returned it," said J.A. Reynolds, his dad.

The senior Reynolds said he was planning on talking to his son about how he should manage his finances as he entered the twilight of his life. They never had that talk. "He was so important to me and my wife," J.A. Reynolds said. "I had so much to look forward to with my son."

In addition to his father and two children, Mr. Reynolds is survived by wife, Marian; and mother Geraldine W. Reynolds.

Profile by Katie Wang published in THE STAR-LEDGER.
Information courtesy of the Remember 9/11/2001 memorial site on


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