Patricia Ruggiere Scavuzzo
Patricia Ruggiere Scavuzzo (1940- ) moved to Port Washington in the mid-1960s. Her children, including son Bart J. Ruggiere, were all raised in town. Bart worked as an Energy Trader at Cantor Fitzgerald at One World Trade Center on September 11, 2001. Sadly, he was killed in the attack that also claimed the lives of all other Cantor Fitzgerald employees who were in the office that day. In this oral history interview, Ms. Scavuzzo reflects on her memories of Bart and his childhood in Port Washington, describes her experience of 9/11, searching for her son following the collapse of the Twin Towers and her eventual realization of his death. She then goes on to discuss her family’s healing process in the aftermath of their loss, and the myriad of ways in which they continue to honor Bart’s memory.
“And when Bart called her [his wife, Claudia] on the telephone…he said, ‘Would you believe we’ve been hit by a plane? But, you know, we’re on our way out, so we’re going to evacuate now. I just didn’t want you to worry.’ And so, his last words were very optimistic. So that after this had happened, after the building collapsed, the hope, of course, was that somehow he got out. And that was the feeling that we had all had that particular day, that maybe he made it down the stairs. Maybe he’s in a hospital someplace.”
“I feel strongly that my son’s spirit is around me all the time. I know, while we’re sitting here talking, I know he knows it. And I think that – that helps me get through a lot, because I do feel very strongly that he’s around…And I think that Bart’s memory lives on in so many people now. And even in people that he never knew and never touched, because he touched our lives so much, and because he touched our life so much we’ve been able to extend ourselves, and instead of being hateful and miserable in our grief, we’ve taken the challenge of that grief and tried to do good for others with it. And I think that’s all thankful to Bart. Because if Bart wasn’t a good person, we wouldn’t even want to be doing these things.”