Mary Lou Hague's Mother Remembers September 11th

By: Shannon Houser Email
By: Shannon Houser Email

UPDATE: 9-11-11 4:30 P.M.

Ten years of remembering the tragic events that occurred on September 11th, and ten years since former Parkersburg resident, Mary Lou Hague lost her life.

Mary Lou's mother, Liza Adams remembers the tragic day. "It's hard to believe that 10 years ago we were sitting in front of that television, just glued to it. Watching every single thing, and now, 10 years, I just don't want anyone to forget."

Mrs. Adams remembers her daughter as the perfect child. "She was very active in all the schools she went to. Participated in whatever. She was a cheerleader and a red wing. Made straight A's. She was one of the valedictorians of her senior class."

And her success in her early years in Parkersburg, led her to a dream job working for a financial firm in the World Trade Center Towers.

"Keefe, Bruyette & Woods wanted to hire her permanently so she took the job and in 1998 she moved to New York City, and she was so excited. She loved the big apple."

It seemed like life couldn't get more perfect for Mary Lou, but on the morning of September 11th, 2001..."I received a phone call from her and it was a quarter of nine and she said mother turn on the television, we think a plane has flown into the other tower but she said all I can see is flames and flying papers."

Mrs. Adams told Mary Lou to get out of her 89th floor office in the second tower, immediately.
"She called me back and said, I have my cell phone, I have my purse I'm leaving now."

That was the last time a loving mother would talk to her 26 year old daughter, as the second plane crashed, 5 floors below Mary Lou's office.

"I don't know what happened to her. I don't know where she was. I got her cell phone bill the following month and she had made 6 calls to 9-1-1 starting at 20 after 9 and ending at 20 of 10, she had never connected."

After hours of anxiously watching the television and trying to contact her daughter, Mrs. Adams knew she wasn't going to have the chance to say goodbye.

"I had no idea the destruction. I had no idea that was happening. The only thing was I didn't hear from her, I didn't hear from her, and by 5:00 that afternoon when I didn't hear from her, I was sure I wouldn't hear from her."

In the weeks after the 9-11 attacks, a waiting game for Mrs. Adams and her family, followed by the first of yearly trips to New York City.

"We went right to New York and spent a week traveling from hospital to hospital, trying to see if she might be in the hospitals but she wasn't"

But the pain didn't hit right away, after realizing her daughter wouldn't be making the trip back to Parkersburg with her.

"You're so busy doing everything and trying to cover all the bases and trying to make sure you haven't missed something that you don't have time to worry about your own feelings. It was horrible seeing her apartment so empty, because she had left that morning thinking she would come back that evening, and she didn't come back. So that was pretty hard. We got back home and then it really starting to sink in what has happened and what was going on and it was devastating and heartbreaking, both"

For 10 years, Mrs. Adams and her family always remember to celebrate the life and memory of Mary Lou Hague.

"We still do celebrate her birthday. We don't ever let birthday go by that we don't celebrate and say happy birthday to her and miss her terribly."

Mrs. Adams has a collection of pictures and memorial pieces set up in her living room. "This is actually something I put up after 9/11 so that I would have pictures of Mary Lou at hand all the time."

And the family has made it their mission to not let others forget either.
"We have tried as a family to not focus on our own tragedy but to do things in the community to keep Mary Lou's memory alive. That's so important as a mother, you don't want anyone to forget"

Each year, PHS gives two scholarships to seniors in memory of Mary Lou, but that's not all.
"And we also made the two big circles of flowers in front of Parkersburg High School because I don't have a cemetery to put flowers, I thought it would be very fitting to go ahead and plant the flowers at the high school."

But on this 10 year anniversary, Mrs. Adams says she doesn't want it to be about the tragedy of Mary Lou and the devastation it caused her family.
"You realize that there are so many other things we need to be thankful for. September 11th isn't just about me. It's not just about Mary Lou or a tragedy in the family. It's about remembering those three thousand victims who gave their lives for our freedom and for all our soldiers that protect our freedom."

A freedom that was so quickly taken away by terrorists.

But Mrs. Adams feels our freedom has been restored with the death of Osama Bin Laden."When he was killed, it was a good feeling to know that we didn't have to worry about him, that we were in control again and that they boys has succeeded.they had tried so hard and worked so hard to get this accomplished and it was an accomplishment. So yes, I was very happy."

10 years of remembering. 10 years of celebrating the life of a bright young woman.
"I think I would probably tell Mary Lou, just as I tell her everyday, how proud of her I am, how brave she was and how much I love her and miss her.

Mary Lou Hague was a Parkersburg High School graduate who moved to New York City to live her dream and ended up working in the World Trade Center Towers.

She tragically lost her life when working in the second tower ten years ago.

But as this anniversary approaches, Liza Adams, Mary Lou's mother says the day is about remembering all those who lost their lives.

"You realize that there are so many other things we need to be thankful for. September 11th isn't just about me. It's not just about Mary Lou or a tragedy in the family. It's about remembering those three thousand victims who gave their lives for our freedom and for all our soldiers that protect our freedom."

Mrs. Adams says her daughter's memory continues to live on and she's knows she's with her daily.

She says she does not want people to forget.

Be sure to watch our special September 11th coverage this Sunday from 6:30-7:30 for the full interview with Mary Lou Hague's mother.

Following will be live coverage from Wood County's September 11th celebration at Bicentennial Park.

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  • by Alice Location: Riverside, CA on Dec 20, 2011 at 02:51 PM
    Dear Mrs. Adams, I truly had a Christmas Miracle! 10 years ago, I bought a bracelet with Mary Lou Hague's name on it. Throughout the 10 years, I have held it in my hands and prayed for her family. I especially remember Sept 11, 2011, when I wore the bracelet all day. (I am clumsy by nature and cannot wear jewelry) I sat on the ottoman in my living room, waiting for Mary Lou's name to be read. I prayed for your family. I asked that the family would hear my prayer. On Dec. 16, I met E.T. at the memorial sight. God answered my prayers and I was able to personally connect with Mary Lou's family. It was heartwarming and I thank God, He answered my prayer. I will continue to pray for you and your family. E.T. was wonderful!
  • by David Location: Pburg on Sep 12, 2011 at 04:21 AM
    This piece was very well put together. The story of Mary, and the story of 9/11 is still as shocking and sad as it was 10 years ago. The way Mary's mother has chosen to remember her daughter, as well as the many other victims, shows the kind of person she is, and the kind of daughter she raised. She is a shining example of the attitude all of us should try to exemplify.
  • by Alexis Location: Casto on Sep 11, 2011 at 05:54 PM
    I go to PHS... I was at the 9/11 ceremony Friday and your other daughter was there... She spoke about her sister, Mary. They also showed the flag that was donated to PHS from the capital building in Washington D.C. I am sorry for your loss... The ones who caused 9/11 will never be forgotten as the ones who killed and basically slaughter over 3,000 people including your poor daughter... May her soul rest in peace since the one who caused this is dead...
  • by Malcolm Location: Raleigh on Sep 9, 2011 at 12:55 PM
    My friendship with Mary Lou remains a bright spot during my time at UNC. She left us too soon but I was blessed to have known her as long as I did. Her memory is never forgotten.
  • by Doris Location: Ohio on Sep 9, 2011 at 07:34 AM
    God bless the familys of 9-11...God keep our soldiers safe as they fight to keep us safe...As long as I am alive, I will make sure it is never forgotten..We must never forget this day.
  • by Danny Location: Belpre on Sep 8, 2011 at 06:26 PM
    God Bless Mary Lou and her family.
  • by Ziptie on Sep 7, 2011 at 08:53 PM
    I love the reminders of Mary Lou Hague in our community...I did not know her, but she is present in many lovely ways. I must say totally rubs me the wrong way when it is said these people "lost" their lives! They had their lives brutally stolen from us all. A car accident or flood or tornado is a "tragedy"...911 was a brutal, premeditated mass murder...lest we forget:(
  • by Maggie McFarland Rousseau Location: Grayson, GA on Sep 7, 2011 at 12:27 PM
    Dear Liza and Family, I think of Mary Lou every day. This ten year anniversary is especially hard as my Christopher would be 20 years old on September 11, 2011. I share your sorrow for Mary Lou and wanted to let you know she will be remembered personally at Oakland Meadow School, Lawrenceville, GA this Friday during our American Patriotism Day Program. We have remembered this day for the past five years with a program designed for all our special education students. Regardless of abilities, they all participate in some way. Please know that we send many hugs to you all in hopes we can help you through the day. Blessings to Mary Lou and Happy Birthday Christopher!
    • reply
      by jim on Sep 9, 2011 at 06:44 AM in reply to Maggie McFarland Rousseau
      Ten year later we remember all those tragically lost, especially Mary Lou, who worked with us in brokerage here in Memphis before moving to New York. She was smart and she was fun and we still miss her to this day
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