Terrorism Tragedies Touch Lives At JSU
Jamie M. Eubanks
JSU News Bureau
September 11, 2001 is burned into the minds of every American, especially those closest to the tragedy in New York, Washington, D.C., and Pennsylvania. Though these locations are hundreds of miles from Jacksonville, Ala., many Jacksonville State University employees felt every jolt.
Pearl Williams, coordinator of part-time employment and career planning at JSU, has a son who was working in the Pentagon when American Airlines Flight 77 slammed into part of the building.
Army Maj. Dwayne Williams was assigned to the Pentagon in July. He served in the Gulf War and recently graduated from Command General College in Fort Leavenworth, Kan.
While rescue efforts are underway at the Pentagon, the Department of Defense spokesman said it is unlikely anyone will be found in the rubble.
Still, Ms. Williams and the rest of the family are holding out hope for his safe return.
"My faith in God is very strong. And I have faith that my son will be brought out alive," says Williams. "We received an official visit last night from the Army Chaplain and an officer. They informed us that my son is missing."
Williams was also reassured search dogs are being sent to find any survivors who remain in the rubble.
"I hope he will be brought out alive."
Andy Hunter, a JSU police officer, was also watching the news reports carefully. His cousin, Melody Dau, is a civilian engineer for the Air Force.
Melody is several years older than Andy, but the two grew up together in Athens, Ala.
"I remember when she was stationed at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla.," recalls Hunter. "I spent almost every summer there with her."
Currently, she is stationed at the Pentagon. Only three months ago she was moved to a different wing because some offices were being renovated.
Dau was just 17 offices down from where the plane struck. The offices behind and to the right of hers were destroyed. The roof collapsed above her, but the desk held enough of the debris for her to crawl from the disaster. All of her coworkers in that office made it out alive, but the same could not be said for those around her.
It took Hunter almost two hours to contact Dau. But he was extremely relieved when he heard that she made it out alive.
Dr. William D. Carr, JSU's acting vice president of student and academic affairs, had family near the World Trade Center. His brother, Joel Carr, teaches high school math about three miles from the WTC.
"My immediate thought was concern for his safety," says Carr. "I wasn't sure just how far he was from the World Trade Center."
And it wasn't until late Tuesday night that Carr received word from his brother. With the large amount of telephone calls being placed in the city, Joel was unable to get word to his brother. Ironically, he was able to email Dr. Carr to let him know he was just fine.
Dr. Joanne McGlown is an assistant professor of political science at JSU. She has students who were immediately put on alert by the military or emergency management systems.
"I feel deep pride that these students would call JSU to find out what is going on here and to let us know what they are facing," says McGlown.
Many of these students are in "lock down" at military bases or in basements of courthouses managing cities' emergency response plans.
"These students needed to know we are here for them. They needed to tell someone of the stress they were going through. And I'm so proud that we at JSU are able to support them."
In some small areas who have very few emergency management employees, these servants are working around the clock. "They just need to be reassured that life goes on," comments McGlown.
McGlown also commends JSU president Dr. Bill Meehan for allowing students to serve their country and the support JSU allows the faculty to offer them.
"Because of the leadership Meehan provides, we are able to be flexible with our students whether they are military or civilian."
The events that took place in New York, Washington, D.C. and Pennsylvania were not isolated to just those areas. They affected everyone in America-even Jacksonville, Ala.
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