Saturday, August 20, 2011

Alfred G. Marchand 9/11/01

I have the honor or paying tribute to Alfred Marchand.  He was 44 years old on 9/11.  Alfred was a flight attendant with United Airlines. He became a police officer in New Mexico. He spent 21 years in law enforcement.  After retiring he became a flight attendant with United.  Left behind were his mother, his wife, Rebecca, his son Josh, 20, and two stepsons, Dakota Hale, 16, and Tray Hale, 12.
Alfred was a Marchand was a highly decorated officer. Among his commendations were:
* Officer of the Year, 1982
* Combat Cross
* Three Exceptional Duty Awards
* Five Honorable Service Awards
* Five Grand Cordon Citations
* Director's Commendation
On July 1, 1990, Marchand became the first agent assigned to the newly formed Otero County Narcotics Enforcement Unit (NEU).
Staff Writer Michael Shinabery's reporting beats crossed paths numerous times with Marchand. In 1996, he covered Marchand's bid for an Otero County Commission seat. Shinabery said at one candidate forum, while several candidates were virulently arguing over issues of self-proclaimed importance, Marchand's sense of humor poked through the political stuffiness.
He last talked to Marchand shortly before Marchand's retirement.
"Al had a dream," Shinabery said. "He told me when he took off his badge for the last time he was going to follow his dream and become a flight attendant. He also told me he had found spiritual peace and contentment in his life."
On a whim, he signed up, said friend Connie Lane. "He just decided to do something really different. It really surprised us."As it turned out, he loved it.
He and his wife of four years, Rebecca, had met for the weekend in Boston. She was scheduled to fly back to New Mexico when her husband flew off to work, but the pair almost changed plans to spend a few more hours together in the air. She considered switching to fly on his plane.
In the end, she worried that she might not be able to rearrange her flights to get home and kept her original plan.
Here are some messages on that have been left for Alfred and his family.....
Al hard to believe its been 8 years! You are missed everyday and not a day goes by that we dont remember you. You were such a great man who seemed to always know the right thing to say and do. I wish you were with us now but I know that you live on in our hearts forever. We miss you!
Erica, New Mexico
Well Al.. its comin around again. We will get thru it like we have the past 7 yrs. but just know each year that it goes by, it NEVER gets easier! You would think i would miss u less and less as time goes by, but it is exactly the opposite. I miss you more and more! I still cant believe you're gone... U have been such a HUGE influince in my life. I remember when we went to Canada and u were driving me to the mall. I wanted to take a picture and accidentally opened the back of the camera. All the pictures that you took of family and friends in North Dakota were gone!! but u didnt get mad, u just looked at me and even tho i know u wanted to yell, u jus shrugged it off n said u would go get some new film. U always had that comfort feeling about u that always made me feel safe! i know u are still with me now and i hope i make u proud. Although i wish i could see u as i walk down the isle, or have you hold my children when they are born, i know u will be rite there with me thru it all. I honestly believe you are my guardian angel, and will get me thru life, as you would if u were still here with us. I love you so much and miss u incredibly!!!! See u soon! Love ur tunia.. <3 Melinda Casares, Alamogordo, New Mexico
Boy, yesterday (9/11/07) was so hard. I don't think there is a day that goes by that I don't think of Al. I will never forget Sep. 11, 2001. I am scarred by it's affects....even now, six years later.
I worked closely with Al several years ago, while I was Sales Mgr. at the Cellular One office in Alamogordo. Although I only knew him in a professional capacity, I thought a lot of him. Al was always professional, gracious and kind.
I remember hearing his name on the television news, on that day and my heart literally broke into a million pieces. All I could think about was his family. I still hurt for you all.
I wear a silver bracelet with Al's name and flight number engraved on it, in his memory. It serves as a reminder of just how precious life really is. I will never, ever forget. My life was changed forever on that day. I owe a huge debt of gratitude that can't ever be repaid.
Be Blessed....You are truly loved. Andrea Miles, Rio Rancho, New Mexico
I thought of you often these past couple of days and each time I'm reminded of 9/11. I lived next door to you on Ridgecrest. I'll never forget you driving down the street in your little pick up truck and your cute son Josh. You are missed. Mary Swayzee (Avila), Alamogordo, New Mexico
we miss uncle al and we love you aunt becky trisha and chris coble, la luz, New Mexico


Anonymous said...

Alfred G. Marchand has French-Canadian ancestry with a touch of Native North American ancestry.

Anonymous said...

Al and I went to the same Church, did missionary work at an orphanage in Juarez Mexico and talked from time to time. He invited me to cruise with him, but I never made the simple arrangements to do so. Al was a career Military Policeman retiring from the Army at White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico. The World Trade towers were being built during the time I was stationed at Fort Monmouth N.J. I saw the completion of the center elevator structures on both buildings completed during the period from June 1969 to March 1970. I never would have thought something from so long ago would impress me in a very different way.

Jayne Martinez said...

I am a Flight Attendant for Alaska Airlines and I had the pleasure of meeting Alfred on his way to interview for his Flight Attendant position with United Airlines. My crew and I didn't believe him when he told us what he was doing because he was so tough and burly and didn't seem to fit "the mold". Actually, I thought he was teasing us or making fun of us. However, after talking to him for awhile we realized how kind and lighthearted he was and so very personable that we were sure that he indeed would fit into the Flight Attendant world. We started giving him advice, interview tips and asked him practice questions to get him prepared for his interview. (which I have felt guilt for ever since 9/11) My heart absolutely broke when I saw his face on the news that horrible day. I'm sure he would have been hired with or without our help but i still can't help but feel a bit of responsibility for his fate. We had a lot of fun with him on that flight and I will never forget him. Alfred left a lasting impression on me and my heart still aches for someone I knew for less than 2 hours. On 9/11/2014 I will be doing a stair climb in honor of all the innocent people lost that day and I will where the name Alfred G. Marchand with pride while doing it. RIP Alfred

Michael Grossman said...

Al and I went to the same grade school, St. Mary’s Catholic school in Fargo, North Dakota. Al was a year older and we were not friends but it was a very small school, so we knew each other. He was a very sinewy, athletic kid who could have easily been a bully-but politely declined that role. We played on the same football team and I am fairly sure he was a Boy Scout and Alter Boy. He was a friendly, approachable and a kind hearted soul even as a very young man. Unfortunately, I never would have known of his accomplishments if 911 never happened. I just want to send my heartfelt condolences to his friends and family and let them know even in his youth he conducted himself with class and respected the dignity of the underclassmen. God bless your soul Al and I wish the best to your loved ones.