INWOOD, N.Y. – In a secluded area of the very northern tip of Manhattan, there is a garden. What once started as a neglected area on the corner of a New York City block has quite literally blossomed into an oasis within the concrete jungle. 

It’s called Bruce’s Garden… and it’s a very special tribute for a very special person.

Bruce’s Garden is named exactly that for a reason, dedicated in honor of Bruce Reynolds, a New York City police officer who tragically died on September 11, 2001, when downtown Manhattan was rocked by the impact of multiple stages of a direct attack on our country.

Smoke billows from the Twin Towers on September 11th, 2001. (Wikipedia Commons)

 

Bruce’s father, Jay, told Inside Edition that the Reynolds family moved to the neighborhood from Pittsburgh back when Bruce was just a young child. They were one of the first African American families in the area.

Setting out to improve the neighborhood and become involved with the community, the Reynolds family set their eyes on the run-down street corner that barely resembled the ‘park’ that it was designated.

In fact, most people just treated it as their local dumping grounds, a city employee said.

“It started out as a dump,” said Aaron Scott. “This was a dump site, the neighborhood dump site. If you could imagine, worst case scenario, carpet rolls, appliances, car parts, lots and lots of garbage.”

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So Jay and his wife along with the rest of his family stepped up to take back the park.

“At that time the park was really not being very well taken care of by the parks department and we did the taking care of it,” said Jay Reynolds.

Jay said that Bruce was just a young child when he began getting him involved in improving the park.

“Bruce was a nature boy,” said Jay. “When he was 3 and 4 years old, I was teaching him about growing flowers and planting flowers and all that … and then from that, Bruce grew into the garden at the park.”

As Bruce grew up, he aspired to continue helping the community and helping others. His dream of becoming a police officer was realized when he graduated the academy and signed on with the Port Authority force. 

 

He wore his badge proudly and served bravely until his last day. Bruce was tragically killed when he rushed to the scene of the World Trade Center on 9/11. 

Since then, the park has continued to remain a beautiful and serene area. After his death, the park was dubbed Bruce’s Garden.

“This garden is a memorial and it’s important because his story, and others like his, should be remembered,” said Scott. “No question, should be remembered.”

The park was named Bruce Garden in honor of an officer who gave all on the morning of September 11th. (Inside Edition)

 

It’s an amazing tribute to a man who has given so much back to the city that he loves.

“It’s a place unlike any other spot on the island, quite frankly,” Aaron Scott said in an interview with Inside Edition. “It’s a very fitting gesture for the kind of person that Bruce was.”

 

P.O. Bruce Reynolds was additionally honored in 2016 when city leaders renamed a street after him.

 

We’d like for everyone who is reading this to take a moment, close your eyes, take a deep breath, and just take a minute to remember those who made the ultimate sacrifice. 

You are gone. But you are never forgotten. 

 

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