Today, the 12th anniversary of the attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon, is a fitting day to consider how trees represent the resilience of a nation and the hope for a peaceful future.
The Survivor Tree’s Story
In the aftermath of the attacks, rescuers were desperate for even the slightest sign of life. Nearly two weeks later, search teams found the charred remnants of a callery pear tree that had been planted in the 1970s– it was nearly uprooted, covered in burns, and had lost many limbs. Still, it was alive, measuring only 8 feet tall. It was transported to New York City Parks Department’s Arthur Ross Nursery in Van Cortlandt Park in the Bronx in November 2001, where nursery workers were unsure if it would survive. They nursed it back to health, noticing new growth in the spring of 2002, and by the time it was returned to be replanted in the memorial park in 2010, it had grown to 30 feet tall. The Survivor Tree even made it through last fall’s Superstorm Sandy unscathed. It stands tall as a stalwart reminder of the tragedies of 9/11 and a beacon of peace today.
… And its Legacy
The Survivor Tree’s legacy will carry on through a brand-new seedling program, announced today by The National September 11 Memorial & Museum. According to the wire release, seedlings from the Survivor Tree will be sent to “resilient communities” that embody “the spirit of the Survivor Tree.”
Three communities have been selected for the inaugural launch: they are Boston, in honor of the marathon bombing in April that killed three people and injured more than 260; Prescott, Ariz., for the 19 firefighters who died battling a wildfire in June; and the Far Rockaways in New York City, which were devastated last year by Superstorm Sandy.
Representatives from each community will attend a ceremony at Citi Field to announce the program.
- National September 11 Memorial & Museum, The Memo Blog: https://www.911memorial.org/blog/survivor-tree-withstood-911-attacks-returns-wtc-grow-memorial-plaza-update-x3
- DNAinfo New York: http://www.dnainfo.com/new-york/20101222/downtown/911-survivor-tree-spreads-its-branches-over-world-trade-center-once-again
- ABC News: http://abcnews.go.com/US/wireStory/911-museum-unveils-survivor-tree-seedling-program-20221800