Police Officer Brian Grady McDonnell

Police Officer Brian Grady McDonnell

New York City Police Department, New York

End of Watch Tuesday, September 11, 2001

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Brian Grady McDonnell

Office Brian McDonnell was killed in the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks while attempting to rescue the victims trapped in the World Trade Center.

Officer McDonnell was a US Army veteran and had served the New York City Police Department for 15 years. He is survived by his wife, son, and daughter.

Officer McDonnell was posthumously awarded the New York City Police Department's Medal of Honor for his heroic actions. He was assigned to ESU Truck 1.

On the morning of September 11th, 2001, seventy-two officers from a total of eight local, state, and federal agencies were killed when terrorist hijackers working for the al Qaeda terrorist network, headed by Osama bin Laden, crashed four hijacked planes into the World Trade Center towers in New York City, the Pentagon in Arlington, Virginia, and a field near Shanksville, Pennsylvania.

After the impact of the first plane into the World Trade Center's North Tower, putting the safety of others before their own, law enforcement officers along with fire and EMS personnel, rushed to the burning Twin Towers of the World Trade Center to aid the victims and lead them to safety. Due to their quick actions, it is estimated that over 25,000 people were saved.

As the evacuation continued, the South Tower unexpectedly collapsed as a result of the intense fire caused by the impact. The North Tower collapsed a short time later. Seventy-one law enforcement officers, 343 members of the New York City Fire Department and over 2,800 civilians were killed at the World Trade Center site.

A third hijacked plane crashed into a field in rural Pennsylvania when the passengers attempted to re-take control of the plane. One law enforcement officer, who was a passenger on the plane, was killed in that crash.

The fourth hijacked plane was crashed into the Pentagon in Arlington, Virginia, killing almost 200 military and civilian personnel. No law enforcement officers were killed at the Pentagon on 9/11.

The terrorist attacks resulted in the declaration of war against the Taliban regime, the illegal rulers of Afghanistan, and the al Qaeda terrorist network which also was based in Afghanistan.

On September 9th, 2005, all of the public safety officers killed on September 11th, 2001, were posthumously awarded the 9/11 Heroes Medal of Valor by President George W. Bush.

The contamination in the air at the World Trade Center site caused many rescue personnel to become extremely ill and eventually led to the death of several rescue workers.

On May 1st, 2011 members of the United States military conducted a raid on a compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan, and killed Osama bin Laden.

Please click here to visit the memorials of all of the law enforcement officers killed in this terrorist attack.


  • Age 38
  • Tour 15 years
  • Badge 6889
  • Military Veteran

Incident Details

  • Cause Terrorist attack
  • Weapon Aircraft; Passenger jet
  • Offender 19 suicide attackers

Most Recent Reflection

View all 49 Reflections

Since September 11th, 2002, I have worn a bracelet/band on my wrist with your name on it. I asked for one to remember the fallen officers who risked everything on 9/11 in the line of duty.
I was given yours. The irony? Your mother’s name...my mother’s name. Your wife’s name...my wife’s name. A photo of you in uniform holding a black and white cat that, amazingly, looked just like the very first cat I ever rescued. And to top it off, you looked like a carbon copy of my best friend. In some photos....a mirror age of him.
Irrelevant in the bigger picture, but still something I found amazing. Maybe it was these little details that were there as added insurance that I felt a connection to you.
Regardless, I will never forget what you did that day. I will always say a prayer for your family and that they have found peace since your sacrifice.
One day, when my time comes...and I pass on...I hope that I get to see you as well. To tell you that you weren’t forgotten. That you are a true hero.
Until then, I will continue to wear that bracelet in your honor and to remind others, constantly, of what America endured that day. To make sure they never forget.

Jeremy Elkins

September 11, 2018

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