PSJA North students remember 9-11, late ROTC instructor

A September 11th ceremony at PSJA North High School was not just a day to remember the fallen firefighters from 11 years ago.

It was also a chance to remember a beloved teacher tragically died in a car accident on Friday evening.

Hundreds of students gathered around the front of school as their classmates paid tribute to 9-11 heroes.

But they also took time to remember the school's senior ROTC Instructor Col. Donald Ray Nichols.

The beloved teacher lost his life in an auto accident off Nolana Avenue on Friday evening.

Nichols served in the schools TM ROTC program for 14 years and had served in the U.S. Army for 25 years prior to his teaching job.

Pharr Deputy Chief Carlos Arispe Jr. spoke to Action 4 News about the Tuesday morning ceremony.

"It's a long tradition that when a firefighter gets killed in the line of duty, it doesn't matter if its New York or Chicago or a small town like Pharr, we honor those who have sacrificed their lives for others, Arispe said.

While these high school students were just young children when the attacks happened 11 years ago, many still say they remember that day.

"When I was a child it was scary to think like oh wow, there's people out there that are risking their lives for us, taking care of us, they give their lives for us in order for us to be saved, student Maria Rodriguez.