Described by one of the recovery workers as the last living thing to leave the World Trade Center site alive after 9/11, the Callery pear tree known as the Survivor Tree somehow made it through the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001. The tree was discovered in the rubble at Ground Zero, and things didn’t look too good for the poor thing. It had been burned, its roots were exposed and broken, and its branches were mostly snapped off. But someone took pity on the poor tree, handing it over to the capable care of the NYC Parks Department, who nursed it back to life.
The tree was replanted on the site once the new construction was finished. It now serves as a living symbol of resilience and survival.
National Geographic sponsored a lovely short film about the tree’s history. I hope you find it as moving as I did.
The 9/11 Memorial & Museum in New York gives seedlings from the Survivor Tree every year to grow new trees (and new hope) around the world. You can read more about the Seedling Program on the Museum’s website.
Wishing everyone peace and healing.