Several weeks after the attack on the Twin Towers, a Callery Pear tree with lifeless limbs, snapped roots and blackened trunk was discovered and saved from the piles of smoldering rubble in the plaza of the World Trade Center. The tree was originally planted in the 1970s near buildings four and five in the World Trade Center; when it was rescued after 9/11 it measured just eight feet high. Horticulturists nursed it back to life at the Parks Department’s nursery in Van Cortlandt Park in the Bronx, and now it's a towering 30 foot symbol of heroic resilience. Yesterday, it came back home.
Mayor Bloomberg, joined by other officials and 9/11 survivors Keating Crown, Tom Canavan and Ret. FDNY Lt. Mickey Kross, planted the “Survivor Tree” at the 9/11 Memorial Plaza. It will grow among dozens of Swamp White Oak trees that were planted in August, and when the Memorial is fully complete, about 400 trees will line the plaza. "The presence of the Survivor Tree on the Memorial Plaza will symbolize New York City’s and this nation’s resilience after the attacks," Mayor Bloomberg said. "Like the thousands of courageous stories of survival that arose from the ashes of the World Trade Center, the story of this tree also will live on and inspire many."
This tree is pretty bad-ass. Besides living through 9/11, it was uprooted in March when that crazy Nor'easter blew threw New York. The tree's homecoming yesterday coincided with the passage of the bill giving aid to 9/11 survivors and first responders, so maybe the tree will finally get some compensation for all its hardship.