June 18, 2021

Patty Casazza is the wife of John F. Casazza, who died at the age of 38 on Sept. 11.

John F. Casazza worked at Cantor Fitzgerald, 104th floor, WTC Tower One – the North Tower. Patty and John Casazza lived in Colts Neck, New Jersey, with their son John Jr.

In an obituary it was written John F. Casazza met his wife-to-be, Patty Fahy, at Shalimar, a disco on Route 35 in South Amboy, N.J., on Sept. 21, 1984. She was wearing beige pants, a sweater with a blazer and heels; he had on black pants, a shirt and tie, and a Members Only jacket. They danced to the pop tune “Wishing on a Star.”

“I can recall it all,” Patty Casazza said. Mr. Casazza would bring his wife flowers on Friday nights, and would run into the stands to give her a welcome kiss when she arrived late to watch him coach their son’s Little League baseball team at Laird Field in Colts Neck, N.J., where they lived.

“I loved it,” she said, laughing. “He had no problem showing his affection.” Below his obituary on legacy.com, Colts Neck, New Jersey, friend Norman Gittleson wrote on November 21, 2001, “John, you were a great coach, all the kids loved you. You were so close to your dream of becoming a teacher, leaving behind the world of high finance.”

After her husband’s death, Patty Casazza became a member of the Family Steering Committee for the 9/11 Independent Commission.

Patty Casazza was interviewed on PBS after Condoleezza Rice testified before the 9/11 Commission in April 2004. She told PBS “I think the commission got off to a really bad start. They did not have all the information they needed from the get go, from the various agencies being investigated.” She was asked about how things were unfolding a year since the 9/11 Commission had its first hearing. Casazza reflected “the structure of the questioning at the hearings that I saw, I would have liked individual commissioners to finish their line of questioning because the following commissioner often didn’t pick up with the questioning, getting to a definitive answer from [someone] like Condoleezza Rice.”

In November 2007, Patty Casazza spoke at the 9/11: Families, First Responders & Experts Speak conference at Saint Joseph College in Hartford, Connecticut. In her remarks Casazza said “every time we look at information on 9/11 we die a little…. It pains me deeply that it’s six plus years, and we still don’t have a true investigation into 9/11. We worked hard to form the Commission. It took us 18 months of fighting… weekly, daily on the phone, writing emails, sending out letters, doing press conferences, all of which I never did before in my life. I was in nursing school when 9/11 occurred. And we brought with us to Washington, to your representatives, empirical evidence showing that 9/11 shouldn’t have happened for a number of reasons.” Casazza recalls how members of Congress she and other Sept. 11 family members met with just wanted them to go away. So they held a rally in D.C. “We called around. We got buses….And we got probably 300 families down in D.C. to come with us. And after that…the government could not overlook our efforts.” 

After the 9/11 Commission was established, Casazza told her audience at the 9/11 Symposium in Hartford, “We did not have evidence presented at the 9/11 Commission. We got platitudes. We got a lot of rhetoric. We got lies, with a smattering of the obvious truths: There were four planes that day. Much more than that we don’t know. We don’t even know who was on those planes for sure. I never saw one terrorist get on a plane.” (For example, the government provided no video footage or photos from airports showing the alleged hijackers boarding the planes, or even in the Boston Logan International Airport). Casazza continued, “I have trouble with that. Nobody showed me the bank accounts from Mohammed Atta, or any of these other people who supposedly got on the planes and destroyed those buildings. I did get a phone call from my husband after the first plane had hit. And he had thought that there were bombs going off in the building. And he knew he was going to die. They had already tried to find their way out. The center cores of the building had been destroyed. And the rooftop doors were locked. And the room had been filling up with thick black smoke. And they were finding it difficult to breathe.”

Casazza reflected, “I look back on the day and I say to myself, where was the  Emergency Broadcast System, [renamed the Emergency Alert System in 1997]. …all these people were calling 9-1-1… Where was that? That is the system that is supposed to be in place to let you know what to do in the event of an emergency. If 9/11 wasn’t an emergency, what does qualify as one? Those people in Building 2 [South Tower] were told to go back to their desks, that it was safer for them in the building. That was a lie. The first responders will tell you…the people who got out, got out because their instincts told them to get out. And that’s how most people saved themselves on that day.” She also was dismayed that the rooftop doors were locked. She emphasized, “In 1993, the rooftop doors were not locked. How else do you expect people, in a building that’s 110 stories high, to get out in the event of an emergency? Even if one full floor is engulfed in flames. How do you expect them to get out? The fire trucks can’t reach ladders and water up that high. They got out in 1993 via the police department. The rooftop doors were not supposed to be locked according to those buildings’ permits.”

Looking back on the Sept. 11 families’ efforts, Patty Casazza told her audience at the 9/11 Symposium “one of the reasons we still continued to fight for the ‘Commission, even as we knew it was a farce, is we wanted their words, their lies down on paper. We wanted to make them go …through this exercise. And even if it came down to the annals of history, that the truth will come out….We’ll have more Americans wake up to the fact that their government is not looking out for their best interests. In fact, they may be counter to our best interests.” She believes without the efforts of the September Eleventh families, “more people in the future might not run out of a burning building; that they actually might listen to a recording that says ‘You’re safe in the building. Remain seated, or you could be fired.’” Casazza counselled, “I think we have to start thinking for ourselves, and questioning everything.”  

Asked about the claim that Saudi Arabia was tracking the hijacked plane, Patty Casazza had this to say. “I wouldn’t doubt that they were following these people who supposedly hijacked these planes. Many of these people, like Osama bin Laden himself, were once our own patsies.” Her comment suggested that there were others involved who put the “patsies” in place.  

Regarding whistleblowers, Patty Casazza pointed out that “part of the problem of testifying as someone who’s working for one of the agencies, is that they have to be careful of ‘state secrets’ – what they reveal. And in order to be a whistleblower, and not be retaliated against, most whistleblowers need to be subpoenaed; ‘Cause then, their coworkers, and those who might retaliate against them, know that under penalty of law they could be accused of being traitors…put in jail, or executed. So most whistleblowers did not come forward, on the basis of what happened to Sibel Edmonds. Sibel brought us many whistleblowers, and I personally submitted them to Governor Kean, who was the Chairman of the ‘Commission. Though 9/11 Commission chairman Gov. Kean “promised me to my face that every whistleblower would be indeed heard….most were not heard. Sibel [Edmonds] was only heard because we dragged her in, and surprised the ‘Commission on one of the days we were meeting with them…” 

 From information that whistleblowers shared with Patty Casazza and some other FSC members, which the 9/11 Commission chose not to hear, “the government…knew the date and the method of which the attacks were supposed to come. And none of this made it into mainstream media. None of it made it into the ‘Commission. And yet again, all of your Representatives, the day that the ‘Commission book came out, were…saying what a fabulous job this ‘Commission has done. A real service to this nation. And it was anything but a service. It was a complete fabrication…. They knew the targets.” 

 Seven years after the attacks, when an audience member asked Patty Casazza if she had one question, she’d like the government to answer, she responded by saying “I’d like to know where Dick Cheney was on the morning of 9/11, and exactly what he was doing.” 

Patty Casazza is a co-chair of September 11th Advocates.

Ray McGinnis

 “John F. Casazza: Objects Of His Affection,” legacy.com, November 20, 2001, (reprinted in the New York Times, March 17, 2002.
Interview with Patty Casazza and Stephen Push, “Family Views,” PBS, April 9, 2004.
9/11 Family Member Patty Casazza: Government Knew Exact Date and Exact Targets,” 911truth.org, November 6, 2007.