Back to photographs of those who fell on September 11, 2001

Police Officer Bruce Reynolds
Assignment on September 11, 2001:
George Washington Bridge, Fort Lee, NJ

Bruce ReynoldsFrom Police Heroes, a book by author Chuck Whitlock:

Officer Bruce Reynolds, forty-one, joined the Port Authority Police in June, 1986. His partner of fifteen years, George Hickman, told The Star-Ledger that Reynolds “was a good cop…If you could exemplify the qualities you’d want in a police officer, he was it.”

Reynolds grew up in the Inwood section of Manhattan. As a teenager, he had a keen interest in the neighborhood garden and spent hours tending the spectacular array of roses, evergreens, mums and violets. He studied advertising and communications at the Fashion Institute of Technology. He then became a ranger in the city parks. After he joined the Port Authority in 1986, he was stationed at the bus terminal on 42nd Street. It was there he got to know Officer Michael Barry who later worked with him at the George Washington Bridge. A formidable team when it came to drug arrests, the two of them were together for thirteen years. Barry had the task of filing the missing person report for Reynolds.

On September 11, Officer Reynolds was sent to the Twin Towers from his post at the George Washington Bridge. Though he had respiratory problems, he went into the South Tower to help with the rescue effort.

On the day of his funeral, the upper deck of the George Washington Bridge was closed in both directions for about five minutes as the hearse drove slowly to New Jersey. When the caravan of two motorcycles and ten cruisers stopped at the Bridge Plaza South command post, a bagpiper played and the officers saluted.

Reynolds married his wife, Marian, who was from County Donegal in Ireland, in 1993. They enjoyed frequent trips to Donegal, where Reynolds was well respected by his in-laws. He enjoyed living in Knowlton, New Jersey, where he could pursue his interests of gardening and fishing. He is survived by Marian and their children Brianna and Michael.

Portraits of Grief, The New York Times

The Man Behind the Camera

Somehow, most of the pictures from that last weekend are of Brianna Reynolds at the Bronx Zoo, coasting above the trees on the safari ride, or back in her grandparents’ apartment in Inwood for her fourth-birthday cake. Her father, Bruce Reynolds, must have stayed on the business side of the camera.

That weekend, Brianna and her baby brother, Michael, played in the rooms where their father had grown up, a city kid in a sixth-floor apartment in northern Manhattan who loved nature. A bird cage ran from the floor to the ceiling. Down the street was the garden in Isham Park that Officer Reynold’s parents, J.A. and Geri Reynolds, had cultivated and where Bruce, their only son, planted cherry plum trees.

When Bruce Reynolds met Marian McBride, they settled in Knowlton, N.J., not far from the Delaware Water Gap. There, they could fish, grow vegetables, swim in their own pool.

It was a long ride for Officer Reynolds, 41, to the George Washington Bridge and his work as a Port Authority police officer, but he was undaunted by big journeys. “They often went to Donegal in Ireland, where Marian is from,” said his father. “Bruce loved it there. That gave me joy.”

His father has planted bulbs at the garden in his sons’ memory, and the Port Authority has promised a flagpole. “Maybe they’ll raise it in the spring,” Mr. Reynolds said. “When the daffodils bloom.”