Saturday, September 10, 2011


A pear tree with snapped roots and a blackened trunk was discovered at Ground Zero in October, 2001, just weeks after the horror of September 11. It had a small green sprout that caught the attention of recovery workers.

Parks Department workers took the tree to a nursery in Bronx, NY (one of NYCs five boroughs) and nursed the tree back to health

The tree was only eight feet tall due to its damage and was already nearly 30 years old; it had been planted at the World Trade Center in the 70s.

It now stands 35 feet tall on the Memorial Plaza centered among hundreds of white oaks.

Alone with myself
The trees bend to caress me
The shade hugs my heart.
~Candy Polgar

Death leaves a heartache no one can heal, love leaves a memory no one can steal.
  ~From a headstone in Ireland

... somehow, even in the worst of times, the tiniest fragments of good survive. It was the grip in which one held those fragments that counted.
~ Melina Marchetta

All men are created equal, then a few become firemen.
 ~ Author Unknown

Courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the judgment that something else is more important than fear.~ Ambrose Redmoon

The courage of life is often a less dramatic spectacle than the courage of a final moment; but it is no less a magnificent mixture of triumph and tragedy.
~ John F. Kennedy


Sylvia K said...

A fantastic and beautiful post for the day and the photos are wonderful and heartbreaking at the same time. I'm so happy about the tree -- one more amazing survivor! What would we do without the incredible firemen!! Thank you, Dianne!


Ron said...

What a touching memorial, Dianne.

And thank you for sharing about the pear tree. That's so beautiful. And so symbolic of why I love and admire NYC so much. Because no matter what ever happens to that city, it picks itself up, sprouts new life, and continues.

I'm sitting here reading this post with tears in my eyes.

I know this may sound strange, but I don't think I ever REALLY allowed myself to fully feel this tragedy until these past three years. It's almost as if my emotions had a delayed reaction. Now, whenever I think of it, read a story about it, or see a photo...I just break down.

I lived NYC when the Twin Towers were built, but it wasn't until 2001 (just two months before this happened) did I ever visit the towers.

I'm hoping to finally go to Ground Zero next month. And I have to say, I'm scared of how I'll react. But it's something I need to do.

Thanks again for sharing this post, dear lady.

X you!

"Death leaves a heartache no one can heal, love leaves a memory no one can steal."

OldOldLady Of The Hills said...

What a beautiful beautiful tribute, Dianne....I read about that tree and I think it is quite extraordinary that not only was it saved---But that it THRIVES!!! Such a testement to the 'will' to live and flourish, with a little help from quite a few people. It gives one hope for our future.

Mike said...

To bad trees can't run the world instead of people. Life would move at a much slower pace.

Jay Simser said...

Like the Survivor Tree in Oklahoma City the Pear trees lives to show us that man;s destruction will, in the ent, be overcome by nature;s resilience. Thank you for your beautiful thoughtful post.

Linda Reeder said...

I love that a tree, not a building or a fountain or a plaque, is the symbol of survival. Life strugggles, falters, but goes on.

Kay L. Davies said...

How beautiful, Di. A wonderful testimonial to survival against all odds.
— K

Kay, Alberta, Canada
An Unfittie's Guide to Adventurous Travel

Akelamalu said...

Lovely post Dianne.x

DJan said...

The tree survived, and so did the spirit of New York. We are different now, but forged in the pain of the event ten years ago. Thank you for such a lovely and moving tribute to survival.

Grayquill said...

You did real good with this one! Thanks

Happy Elf Mom said...

Thinking of New Yorkers today and the lives that were forever changed.

HermanTurnip said...

Awesome! It's backstories like this that really hits me *right here*. Thanks for that!

Au and Target said...

Nice post.

Linda said...

If only we as a nation had been nurtured with tenderness like that tree was rather than rallying around the cry of "Never forget!" that has led to a lot of needless hatred then maybe our nation would have recovered better than it has from the events of 9/11.

I run the risk of sounding unpatriotic but honestly, has our nation grown since the towers fell and so many lives were lost or are we still stuck in a continuous loop of senseless war and political mayhem?

The way I see it, even though we all came together as a nation in the days following 9/11, since then we have grown so far apart as a country that you sometimes have to wonder if Bin Laden accomplished exactly that which he set out to do?

Paz said...

wonderful story about the tree. thanks for stopping by my blog. ;-)

Daryl said...

WOW ... I am wordless and weepy ..

Sallie (FullTime-Life) said...

A wonderful tribute and memory post and no less perfect when I am reading it a few days late. Thank you. The tree is the most perfect reminder that we must have hope.