A survivor of the events of Sept. 11, 2001 shares his story in the recently published
biographical work, “We All Fall Down: The True Story of the 9/11 Surfer.”
Pasquale Buzzelli, a structural engineer with the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey,
survived the collapse of the north tower in the World Trade Center on Sept. 11, according to
the book’s press release. Working in an office on the 64th floor, the 110-story tower collapsed
around him as he crouched in the corner of a stairwell on the 22nd floor, according to the book’s
website. Hours later, Buzzelli awoke in a pile of rubble around seven stories high.
According to the website, Buzzelli was one of two people to have “surfed” the tower collapse,
although there were 16 other north tower survivors.
Years following the event, “We All Fall Down” reveals Buzzelli’s 9/11 survival, battle with
survivor guilt and the path to physical and mental recovery, according to the website. Freelance
writer Joey Bittick was contacted by Paul Mould Publishing to assist Buzzelli in writing his
story, Bittick said in an email to Flyer News.
Editor Autumn Conley also worked with Bittick and the Buzzelli family, according to a press
Bittick began his career at age 24 co-writing a screenplay with his cousin entitled “Surviving
the Vision,” a memoir about a time in an abusive intentional community run by a millionaire
insurance tycoon, he said.
Prior to Bittick’s involvement with the book, Buzzelli and his wife, Louise Buzzelli, had
written 23,000 words about surviving the tower collapse, Bittick said. Co-writing the second half
of the book, Bittick collaborated with the Buzzellis to create 63,000 additional words illustrating
the aftermath of 9/11, he said.
“Louise sent me a box full of hundreds of transcribed tapes, notes, emails, cassette tapes,
etc. so I could absorb all the information surrounding Pasquale’s experience,” Bittick said in
his email to Flyer News. “I basically was a ghost writer, but because the Buzzellis are such
honorable people, they credited me.
According to Bittick, Buzzelli’s story demonstrates strength in unthinkable situations, as well
as the importance of family relationships.
“Whenever I get depressed and start to wallow in self-pity, I think about what Pasquale and
Louise went through,” Bittick said. “I think about the strength they showed in overcoming all of
it, and I realize that I can get through anything.”
Although 11 years later, Bittick said he recalls the event in his own life and talking to Buzzelli
reiterated the real-life impact.
“New York always seemed like a faraway place and I never considered that there were real
people with hopes, dreams, goals, families and lives,” he said. “It is about the people that were in
the building, the people who watched their loved ones die on national television and it is about
people like Pasquale.”
In addition to the book release, the Discovery Channel will air a special documentary
entitled “The 9/11 Surfer” at 10 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 11, according to the press release. The
documentary will feature interviews with the Buzzellis, the rescuing firefighters and a video
capturing Buzzelli’s reunion with his rescuers, according to the press release.
The e-book is available from Amazon and will be available in paperback edition through Paul
Mould Publishing, according to the press release.
For more information on the book, visit www.911survivor.com.