A lone tree stands at the memorial in Oklahoma City—The Survivor Tree—a mighty elm that lived through the blast of the 1995 bombing of the Federal building. At first, people thought the tree was lifeless with shards of debris, glass, as well as other wreckage from the discharge deeply embedded in its hundred year-old trunk.
But still the tree still lived.
It became a monument to which millions have flocked to over the years and have gained strength from.
The inscription nearby reads:
The spirit of this city and this nation will not be defeated; our deeply rooted faith sustains us.
one of their final assignments for the year. They were to write advice to the incoming fifth graders.
I leafed through the letters as I read over their sage advice, gleaned over the span of nine months—gestation enough for rebirth—and smiled at their writing which was sometimes humorous, often serious, and always valuable.
This year I dedicated a portion of my classroom—for a little while—to become ‘The Survivor Wall’ in honor of those students who made it out with their sanity intact—in other words—all of them.
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