Yesterday, I shared my trip to the National September 11 Memorial in New York City. I shared photos of the pools and some of the artifacts from the attacks along with my personal and emotional experience, but I left something pretty significant out of my description of the memorial.
All but one of the trees planted throughout the memorial are swamp white oaks. Amidst this wooded area stands a Callery pear tree known as the Survivor Tree.
This pear tree was originally planted in the 1970s on the World Trade Center plaza near the WTC-4 and WTC-5 buildings. Weeks after the 9/11 attacks, it was discovered amid the destruction at Ground Zero. All that was left was an eight-foot charred stump with snapped roots.
It was taken to a Bronx park and nursed back to health by the New York City Parks and Recreation Department. It grew to be 30 feet tall, sprouted new branches and began flowering in springtime.
As if this tree hadn’t been through enough, in March 2010, it was uprooted by severe storms. Again, the New York City Parks and Recreation Department came to its rescue and it survived. It was returned to the WTC site in December 2010 and stands just west of the south pool. Today it is supported by temporary guide wires as it takes root. As I touched its branches, I felt a great sense of peace and belief for a brighter future.
|BJ and me at the Survivor Tree|