MOBILE, Ala (WALA) – September 11th, 2001 is day that many will not forget, but for the family of Marsha Ratchford they definitely will not.
Marsha was one of those killed and she was raised right here in the Mobile-area.
On Wednesday, the family came together to remember her.
“It doesn’t seem like it because every year is a hard year,” said Rodney Ratchford, Marsha’s husband.
Rodney was the last person in the family to speak to Marsha.
He was on the phone with his wife just after the planes hit the World Trade Center towers. Their last words on the phone: “I love you.”
A short time later a plane hit the Pentagon and she was killed.
“We always tell each other we love each other before we depart and it just so happened we said it that day and it lasts a lifetime,” Rodney said.
Marsha worked at the Pentagon for the Navy as an Information Technician.
After a nearly 15-year career, the Pentagon was to be her family's last stop before she retired.
“I just want them to remember that she did sacrifice her life that day, not only for the nation, but she sacrificed her life for us as well,” said Cynthia Watts, Marsha’s sister.
For Marsha’s oldest son Marquez, the last 18 years have been a long struggle.
“What I miss most is her presence itself,” he said. “Her laugh, her talk, her demandments, a mother’s loving.”
At a family get together in Semmes on Wednesday, Marsha’s legacy lives on in each of the family and friends in attendance, but also through a nonprofit named in her honor “Marsha’s Guardian Angels.”
“Marsha and I were going to open up a homeless shelter when she retired and so I just wanted to keep on her legacy,” said Angelia Blunt, Marsha’s sister. “So, what I did was start the nonprofit organization and we started feeding the homeless people downtown.”
This is an anniversary that does not get any easier for Rodney as he thinks about all he has lost.
“I miss my family,” he said. “Me and my wife were very close knit and we wanted to raise our kids together. We had plans to do things, I just miss being around her.”
Marsha left behind a husband and three kids. She was just 34 years old.
Information on Marsha's Guardian Angel's can be found here.