Banding together for Amber

Christian Aleman, Staff Writer

The Pride Marching Band showed support for freshman horn player Amber Johnson, who was struck by a car at the Whitley Hall crosswalk on September 10, by wearing yellow ribbons during their rehearsal this past Thursday.

“I think it’s in times like these, that you feel alone kind of, especially if you’re in a hospital for a really long time,” Christian Guillen, senior and undergraduate intern, said. “You have your parents there naturally, but then you see a group this big that cares-it means a lot.”

After rehearsal, the Pride took a picture with all the members forming a heart on the field to commemorate the display of support for Johnson.

“The importance is that we’re a family so you always have to show that you love someone,” Katie Petty, junior in the Pride Marching Band, said. “Like you’re always there for each other like even if there are difficulties going on in life, we’re a family. We back each other up, we care about one another, and we’re always going to be there for each other throughout the rest of our lives, and that’s the family that we’re in.”

Petty, who said she “broke down and started crying” after she heard of the incident shared the meaning behind the color choice of the ribbon.

“Yellow, because her nickname is Tweety Bird because she makes a little tweety sound, and so we all wear yellow because of that,” Petty said.

Thai-Tu Nguyen, junior and a drum major for the Pride Marching Band, said he and his friend rushed over to Whitley as soon as they heard about the incident.

“It didn’t matter like who it was, I was going to do whatever I could to help, even though in the back of my head I knew that there probably wasn’t much I could do, but I needed to know for myself,” Nguyen said. “It was kind of crazy, actually.”

When it came to wearing the yellow ribbon and taking a picture of the whole Pride in display of solidarity, Nguyen said that it’s not just for her or the Pride, but for her family as well.

“We want her family to know we’re here for them as well,” he said. “The family atmosphere reaches past us; it reaches to everybody else’s family as well.”

Johnson is in the hospital, and an MRI shows that brain damage occurred. As of Tuesday (9/13) she “has been moving her extremities,” according to the Commerce Journal on reports by Johnson’s friends.