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2 South Bay schools continue honoring 9/11 victims

At Captain Jason M. Dahl elementary school in San Jose, the school’s name weighs heavily on Sept. 11. 

Captain Dahl was the pilot on United Flight 93 from Newark to SFO that crashed in Shanksville, Pennsylvania as the passengers and crew fought back and prevented the hijackers from crashing the plane into another American landmark to save people on the ground. 

Dahl was a student there when it was Hillsdale Elementary.  The school was re-named after him in 2002. 

There is a glass case in the front office with memories of him, including his old report cards and school pictures. 

“It definitely is an honor, and we always try to make contact with Captain Dahl’s family as well just to let them know that we continue to honor his legacy every single school year and day,” said principal Michelle Quilantang. 

They honor Dahl every Sept. 11 with an assembly to teach kids about his life and the hero he was. 

“And was able to have a dream to be a pilot and he did make his dream come true, and so, of course, with the events of Sept. 11, the impact that he had and the legacy that he has left behind,” said Quilantang. 

Just south, at Leland High School, American flags fly every Sept. 11, where Pat Tillman was a star football player and student. 

Tillman went on to play for the Arizona Cardinals in the NFL but gave up that career after Sept. 11 to join the Army. 

Scot Gillis was a baseball and football coach for Tillman while at Leland and also taught his brother Kevin, who enlisted too. 

“I knew they were making this pretty significant transition, one of their goals was to not make it a huge public thing and about them. They were just looking at it as though this was what they felt was the right thing to do at this particular time period,” said Gillis.

After multiple deployments, Pat Tillman was killed in 2004 in Afghanistan. 

The football stadium now bears his name, and the school’s motto, “charge on” embodies the principles of his courage. 

Karen Johnson worked in the front office when Tillman was a student. 

“I don’t hear too much now about the sacrifice and what he went through, but we still talk about it a lot in my family,” she said.  

As today’s younger generation wasn’t even born when 9/11 happened, there is still an effort to remember those who died so their memory will live on forever.

Source: NBC Bay Area

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