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Bergen, Passaic Police Help Move Motorcycle Group Through 9/11 Remembrances

The Axe Run on eastbound Route 3 passing the Meadowlands. Photo Credit: Nicole Hickman
The Axe Run on the NJ Turnpike. Photo Credit: Lisa Salim
Honor Guard at remembrance service for Paul "Axe" Laszczynski at Holy Cross Cemetery in North Arlington/ Photo Credit: John Salim
At the Holy Cross Cemetery 9/11 Memorial in North Arlington. Photo Credit: Lisa Salim
Members of the North Jersey Chapter at "Axe" 's grave Photo Credit: Lisa Salim
Three lanes of the West Side Highway were shut down. Photo Credit: Brian Downing
Renegade Pigs North Jersey Chapter founder/past president Les Goldstein, a retired Clifton police officer, at the WTC Memorial. Photo Credit: COURTESY: Renegade Pigs
Requiescat in pace. Photo Credit: Brian Downing

CLIFTON, N.J. -- A Port Authority police officer who was killed in the 9/11 attacks received a special -- and large -- tribute from members of the North Jersey Chapter of the Renegade Pigs law enforcement motorcycle club and their colleagues from throughout the country.

Club members came to the base of operations at the La Quinta hotel on Route 3 in Clifton from as far away as Washington State and Illinois to commemorate Paul "Axe" Laszczynski.

The logistics of moving such a large group of motorcyclists from place to place was daunting, but police from various agencies made it work, said member John "Wizard" Salim.

On Sept. 10, a group of 77 bikes left the hotel for the "Axe Run," traveling the NJ Turnpike to the PAPD's PATH Command in Jersey City, where Laszczynski was assigned. They were assisted by the New Jersey State Police, Port Authority police and Clifton police, as well as units and motor officers from several other local departments.

A brief ceremony at the Command's 9/11 memorial, after which the group headed to Holy Cross Cemetery in North Arlington, where Paul Laszczynski is buried, for a remembrance service.

Assisting were Chaplain David Boone, a retired detective and Capt. Robert Kneer, both of Fair Lawn police, along with honor guards from the Port Authority PD and Bergen County Sheriff's Office and the Port Authority Police Pipes & Drums.

The numbers swelled the next day, as 100 or so motorcycles escorted by units and motor officers from the Passaic County and Bergen County sheriff's offices escorted the group from the hotel bound to midtown Manhattan -- the starting point of New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo's World Trade Center Memorial Ride.

This was the fourth year of the WTC Ride, which follows the route taken by FDNY Rescue One from West 43rd Street down the west side of the city to the World Trade Center.

They were met in the city by additional club members who came in from Albany and Long Island.

In all, 120 bikes represented the Renegade Pigs among more than 700 in all participating.

Honored guests included Cuomo, NYPD PBA President Pat Lynch, NYC Uniformed Firefighter's Association President Steve Cassidy, FDNY Chaplain Rabbi Joseph Potasnik, Port Authority Executive Director Pat Foye and actor Kevin James.

Ten states and Washington DC were represented among the club members and families in attendance.

"All were impressed not only by the scope of the weekend's events but also with the efficiency and professionalism of the officers who safely conducted them from place to place in the course of both days," Salim said. "The North Jersey Chapter is indebted to those agencies who unhesitatingly provided their resources and expertise to make the weekend's events a possibility."

The Renegade Pigs Motorcycle Club is a national organization comprised of active and retired public safety officers. They are active in various charitable causes and fundraising efforts, particularly those benefiting public safety personnel and children.

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