Pittsburgh among 2019 recipients of seedlings from New York’s 9/11 ‘Survivor Tree’
Seedlings from the “survivor tree” pulled from the rubble of the World Trade Center towers 18 years ago will be donated and planted in Pittsburgh as a memorial and symbol of resilience in the wake of the October massacre at the Tree of Life synagogue in Squirrel Hill.
The survivor tree is a Callery pear tree found in the rubble in New York about a month after Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. It was nursed back to health and replanted at the permanent memorial. In 2013, the nonprofit that runs the 9/11 memorial began the seedling program.
Since then, seedlings have been donated to areas affected by violence or disaster as a symbol of hope.
Pittsburgh, along with Las Vegas and the Grecian community of Marathon, will receive seedlings in 2019.
“Located at the very heart of the 9/11 Memorial, the Survivor Tree symbolizes the potential for resilience in the aftermath of tragedy,” said 9/11 Memorial & Museum President and CEO Alice M. Greenwald.
A gunman killed 11 worshippers in the three congregations at the Tree of Life building on Oct. 27, 2018 – the deadliest anti-Semitic attack in the country’s history. Six people were injured in the attack.
Wildfires in Greece last year left 102 dead and 172 injured. Marathon will accept and care for the trees on behalf of the country.
In 2017, a mass shooting in Las Vegas killed 58 people at the Route 91 Harvest Festival. More than 400 were wounded.
“As the communities in Las Vegas, Pittsburgh and Greece continue their own journeys towards 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,” Greenwald said.
Past recipient cities have included Parkland, Fla., where a gunman in 2018 killed 17 students and staff; Haiti, devastated by Hurricane Matthew in 2016; and Newtown, Conn., where 20 young children and six adults were killed by a gunman in 2012.
Megan Guza is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Megan at 412-380-8519, [email protected] or via Twitter .