Man who lost his father in 9/11 attacks writes memoir, shares message of hope

National News

Matthew John Bocchi was nine-years-old when his father, John Bocchi, was killed in the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001.

“I’d seen some of the footage but it didn’t seem real. Then a week later, they came and told us they found him,” Bocchi said.

Despite being so young, Matthew began researching the attacks to find out exactly what happened to his father, who worked in the 105th floor of the North Tower. His mother told him later that in the weeks leading up to the attacks, his father wanted to quit that job and find a different career that he was passionate about.

In the years to come, Matthew was a victim of sexual abuse by a family member and later struggled with drug abuse. Now, he is a survivor of that trauma and five years sober. Over the last few years, Matthew has shared his story with high school students all over the U.S.

“It doesn’t define me,” Bocchi says of his past.

Immediately following his speaking engagements, Matthew says attendees would come up to him and encourage him to write a book. He said he would journal as a child and wrote poetry in high school but never considered himself a writer. However, one day he decided to put pen to paper and after about two years, his book will officially be released on September 8.

“It’s part of who I am so I’m just trying to share my story with the world,” Bocchi said.

His overall message is one of hope, “no matter how far you fall, you can always rise again. No matter how far you stray, you can always find your way home.”

On the publisher’s website, they offer a quote from Sway:

“I was only nine years old, but I knew what death was. It was the end. When it came to my dad though, no amount of rational thought could outweigh my feelings. I watched the footage over and over again, trying to validate my hopes and dreams, believing there was a minute possibility he made it out of the building alive.”

From the book Sway written by Matthew John Bocchi

Learn more about the book Sway here.

Matthew also weighed in on the cancellation then reinstatement of the Tribute in Light in New York.

You can connect with Matthew on his website,, or on Instagram.

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