Parkersburg native Mary Lou Hague would have turned 32 next month. She was just 26-years-old and working in New York City when she called her mother on September 11th. She called to tell her she was leaving the World Trade Center, and she would call her once she was safe.
Liza Adams never heard from her daughter again. But now, her mother is using her daughter's life to inspire others.
In the vibrant September morning, thousands of lives crumbled as everyone watched two buildings fall. Inside the south tower on the 89th floor, Mary Lou Hague was living her dream.
Mary Lou graduated from Parkersburg High School fourteen years before Megan Archer. The two never met. Today, Megan is a freshman at Marshall University, working to achieve her dream with the help of a scholarship in Mary Lou's memory.
“It's all given out of love,” said Archer. “It's to honor her, and the people that loved her.”
Every parent who has lost a child will agree that you, you have kind of an unexplainable lifelong pain that doesn't come and go with one event or one anniversary. It's there all the time. But in her grief, Liza Adams and the rest of Mary Lou's family are finding hope. They’re following the example of the young woman with a magnetic smile.
“We've just done things for several of the schools that help kids because it's important they have the best and best opportunity to get the best start in life,” said Adams.
Appropriate, because Mary Lou was so involved in high school…whether it was academics or just making it a better place for everyone.
In addition to scholarships like Megan's, the renovated annex at Parkersburg High School bears her name. The warmth of her spirit is reflected in flower beds welcoming everyone to the place where the young woman on Wall Street got her start.
A lifetime cut short, but not short of inspiration.
Touching lives in death, the same way she did in life.