News Release: 2021 9/11 Survivor Tree Seedlings

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Sunday, September 12, 2021

Seedlings Are Donated to WHO and Communities in Norway and Texas Affected by Violence

(New York) September 12, 2021 – Today, The National September 11 Memorial & Museum announced that the World Health Organization (WHO) and communities in Norway and Texas will be recognized for their resilience in the face of adversity as this year’s recipients of “Survivor Tree” seedlings.

“Twenty years after the 9/11 attacks, the Survivor Tree – which stands at the heart of the 9/11 Memorial – is a powerful symbol of resilience and recovery, and its seedlings continue to grow strong in communities around the world that have endured profound tragedy,” said Michael R. Bloomberg, Chairman of the National September 11 Memorial & Museum. “Today, the 9/11 Memorial honors the dedicated professionals at the World Health Organization for their efforts to fight the global pandemic, and the communities in Norway and Texas that have been shaken by acts of extreme violence – and we affirm our shared unshakeable, unwavering belief in a brighter future.”

The WHO is being honored for its response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Dedicated to the wellbeing of all people and guided by science, the WHO leads and champions global efforts to give everyone, everywhere, an equal chance to live a healthy life. The organization is bringing the world’s scientists and global health professionals together to accelerate the research and development process, develop new norms and standards to contain the spread of the coronavirus pandemic, and help care for those affected. Confirmed cases of COVID-19 have passed 185.5 million globally, and the number of confirmed deaths stands at more than 4.01 million.

“On behalf of all WHO staff, I would like to share our collective gratitude for this poignant recognition by the National September 11 Memorial & Museum, and I acknowledge the special significance of the offering of a seedling from the Survivor Tree, coming on the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 tragedy,” said Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General of the World Health Organization.

The other recipient communities have been impacted by acts of extreme violence. On July 22, 2011, a right wing extremist detonated a car bomb outside the government headquarters in Oslo, Norway, killing eight. The individual then went on a shooting rampage at a summer camp for young people on the small island of Utøya, Norway, killing 69. In recognition of the milestone 10th anniversary of these attacks, two seedlings will be gifted in tribute to the individuals killed at each of these locations. And, on May 18, 2018, a 17-year-old high school student in Santa Fe, Texas, shot and killed eight students and two teachers and wounded 13 others. This shooting is the third-deadliest high school shooting in the United States, behind the Columbine High School massacre in 1999 and the Stoneman Douglas High School shooting in February 2018.

“The Labour Party youth organization AUF and the Island of Utøya are proud and honored to be the recipient of the Survivor Tree seedlings. As Utøya itself, the Survivor Tree is a symbol of strength and resilience. Through the seedlings, we are being connected in our common fight against extremism and for peaceful coexistence,” says Jørgen W. Frydnes, Director of the Utøya Foundation.

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 received its name after it was pulled from World Trade Center rubble and nursed back to health. It was later replanted at the 9/11 Memorial where it continues to thrive today.

In September 2013, the Memorial began the tree seedling distribution program in partnership with Stamford, Connecticut-based Bartlett Tree Experts and John Bowne High School in the Flushing neighborhood of Queens.

Bartlett, which donates its resources to support the program, harvested seeds from the Survivor Tree in the fall of 2011. John Bowne High School cares for the seedlings as part of the school’s agriculture curriculum.

Images of the Survivor Tree and seedlings associated with the program can be provided upon request. Please email to request access. Learn more about the Survivor Tree and the seedling program here.

The National September 11 Memorial & Museum is the nonprofit organization that oversees operations for the 9/11 Memorial and 9/11 Memorial Museum. Located on eight of the 16 acres of the World Trade Center site, the Memorial and Museum remember and honor the 2,983 people who were killed in the horrific attacks of September 11, 2001, and February 26, 1993. The Memorial plaza design consists of two reflecting pools formed in the footprints of the original Twin Towers surrounded by swamp white oak trees. The Museum displays more than 900 personal and monumental objects while its collection includes more than 60,000 items that convey intimate stories of loss, compassion, reckoning, and recovery linked to the events of 9/11 and the aftermath. The Museum also explores the global impact of 9/11 and its continuing significance through education programs, public programs, live talks, and film features that cover contemporary topics designed for diverse audiences. For more information or to reserve a ticket to the 9/11 Memorial Museum, please visit

Grant Kinsaul
(212) 312-8787