The 9/11 Memorial & Museum selected Las Vegas, Pittsburgh and Greece as recipients of this year’s “Survivor Tree” seedlings. The communities, which have recently been impacted by extreme disaster or violence, have committed to nurturing these trees to serve as landmarks symbolizing resiliency and hope.
The Survivor Tree seedling program provides seedlings from the Survivor Tree to three communities that have endured tragedy in recent years. In Las Vegas, a gunman killed 58 people and injured 400 more at the Route 91 Harvest Festival in October 2017. The following year, in October 2018, 11 people were killed and 6 were injured at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh. During the shooting, three congregations were in service — Congregation Dor Hadash, New Light Congregation and Tree of Life Congregation — making this the deadliest attack on the Jewish community in United States history. In 2018, a series of wildfires in Greece resulted in 102 fatalities and 172 injuries. The municipality of Marathon will accept the seedling on behalf of the country.
“As the communities in Las Vegas, Pittsburgh and Greece continue their own journeys toward healing, we in New York City stand in solidarity with them and offer these Survivor Tree seedlings as living symbols of the promise of renewal,” said Alice M. Greenwald, 9/11 Memorial & Museum President and CEO. “It is our intention that the seedling program will inspire hope around the world.”
The Survivor Tree has become a symbol of the nation’s spirit of hope and healing as well as strength and resilience in the wake of the 2001 attacks. The tree got its name after it was nursed back to health when it was pulled from World Trade Center rubble. It was later replanted at the 9/11 Memorial.
In September 2013, the Memorial began the tree seedling distribution program in partnership with Stamford, Conn.–based Bartlett Tree Experts, which donates its resources to support the program, and John Bowne High School in the Flushing neighborhood of Queens, cares for the seedlings as part of the school’s agriculture curriculum.
By 9/11 Memorial Staff