Mason Alumnus Takes Lead on Pentagon Memorial

Posted: July 6, 2006 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

By Colleen Kearney Rich

“Today is about commitment. Everyone here today has made a commitment to create something positive out of that very tragic day,” said Mason alumnus James Laychak, BS Accounting ’83 and BS Decision Science ’83, at the groundbreaking ceremony for the Pentagon Memorial on June 15.

Expected to be completed in September 2008, the memorial is being built to remember the 184 lives lost when American Airlines Flight 77 crashed into the Pentagon on Sept. 11, 2001. Laychak, who lost his brother David, an Army civilian working at the Pentagon, on 9/11, serves as president and chairman of the board of the Pentagon Memorial Fund.

This is a model of the Pentagon Memorial set to be completed by September 2008.
Photo provided by James Laychak

When completed, the Pentagon Memorial Park, on the west side of the building, will be home to 184 individual memorial units, each dedicated to a victim and inscribed with his or her name. The park is designed by Keith Kaseman and Julie Beckman of New York and was chosen from a competition involving more than 1,000 designs.

In the spring, Laychak was recognized by the Mason Alumni Association with the Alumni Service Award. Laychak’s links with the university are strong. In 1995, he helped establish the Andersen Consulting Scholarship in Mason’s School of Management, and in 2003 he personally created the Patricia Holloran Laychak Memorial Scholarship Endowment named for his mother. The Alumni Association also benefited from his leadership while he served as vice president of service from 1997 to 2000, president from 2000 to 2002 and past president from 2002 to 2004. He has also served on numerous committees and still regularly gives of his time.

“We will be successful,” he said to several hundred people attending the groundbreaking. “We owe it to our loved ones. We owe it to everyone who witnessed what happened that day.” For more information on the memorial, visit the web site.

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