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Dr. Bryan C. Jack Elementary students remember namesake with 9/11 ceremony

Published: Sep. 10, 2021 at 7:32 PM CDT
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TYLER, Texas (KLTV) - In Tyler this morning, students and staff at Dr. Bryan C. Jack Elementary paused to remember the lives lost on Sept. 11, 2001, including the man their school is named after.

The students may not have been born when the Sept. 11 attacks happened, but they have grown up in a world changed by the events of the day.

“Hijackers took over four different planes, and they just tried to kill as many Americans as possible,” said Miles, a 5th-grade student.

“Two planes crashed into the Twin Towers, and another plane crashed into the Pentagon, and another in a field,” said Maggie, a 5th-grade student.

And it was that crash at the Pentagon that gave the school its name. Dr. Bryan C. Jack, a 1970 graduate of Robert E. Lee High School, had worked for many years at the Pentagon. But on that day, he was flying to a speaking engagement in California. His flight: American Airlines Flight 77, which crashed into the Pentagon. It crashed just 200 feet away from Jack’s office. Many believe if he was in his office that day, he may have survived the attack.

Dr. Bryan C. Jack, the son of Tyler educators and a graduate Robert E. Lee High School.
Dr. Bryan C. Jack, the son of Tyler educators and a graduate Robert E. Lee High School.(Courtesy photo)

“He was on the flight that crashed into the Pentagon, and that he worked for our government to help keep us safe,” said Miles, a 5th-grade student.

At the Pentagon Memorial in Washington, D.C., there’s a bench with Jack’s name on it. 20 years later and 1,300 miles away, a new generation is learning about Jack and the qualities that made him a leader.

A bench at the Pentagon Memorial in Washington, D.C. is inscribed with Bryan C. Jack's name.
A bench at the Pentagon Memorial in Washington, D.C. is inscribed with Bryan C. Jack's name.(Gray Washington, D.C. Bureau)

“It gave us the status as an official 9/11 memorial site,” said Brett Shelby, Jack Elementary School Principal. “And to tie that into your school, his leadership abilities and things he did coming out of Tyler, Texas, it’s just very significant for our campus and our students to be able to honor that and understand how much of a leader he was.”

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