Remembering An East Texan Who Died On 9/11 - - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News


Remembering An East Texan Who Died On 9/11

He was bright, he was eager, and he was enthusiastic.  That's how one of Bryan Jack's former teachers described him.

"If there was something he didn't know, he took it upon himself to find out," said Alan Shumate, a former teacher at Robert E. Lee High School and Jack's former debate coach.  "When you're trying to coach debate, you can't ask for anything more than that."

Shumate remembered Bryan Jack as an outstanding student and leader.  He called him "the epitome of a perfectly educated and educable student."

A champion debater and class president, Bryan Jack graduated from Lee High School and went on to become a Merit Scholar and graduate of Stanford University.  He received his doctorate in economics from the University of Maryland and later joined the Department of Defense, working in the Pentagon as a budget analyst.

"I don't think that he would be concerned with impressing anybody," Shumate said.  "I think his only concern was doing what he thought was good and best."

In a twist of fate, Dr. Bryan Jack died on September 11th, 2001, when his plane, American Airlines Flight 77, crashed into the Pentagon--just yards from where he worked everyday.

But his name lives on today with the opening of the new Dr. Bryan C. Jack Elementary School in Tyler.  And for those who knew Jack personally, it's a fitting tribute. 

"The mascot of that school is the patriots, and certainly Bryan Jack was a patriot," Jim Echols said, who was on Jack's debate team at Lee High School.

"He was just a really nice, genuinely good human being," said Don Kent, one of Jack's classmates.  "He was a good person."

A person with a thirst for knowledge, and who is now an inspiration for a younger generation.

Layron Livingston, KLTV 7 News.


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