Pin It I had the opportunity to venture into the city yesterday with my sister-in-law and my nephew. We rode connecting subways until we reached our final destination in the heart of downtown where we met up with my brother on his lunch break. We stood in our little group and gazed above the fences in awe at the rebirth of buildings and life at Ground Zero.
We passed through a thorough security screening which would have had the TSA standing by proudly looking on. A few minutes later we moved through cordoned pathways to stand on the ground where the twin towers had once stood some eleven years ago.
The site was amazing.
Though I could go into detail of each portion, I’d like to instead focus on my two favorite parts of the memorial.
The first part is composed of two monuments that have a continually cascading square waterfall on the exact locations of where of the twin towers originally stood. The water flows downward below ground level 20 or more feet into quadrilaterally shaped pools. The fountains are completely surrounded at the apex—where visitors can look down into their depths—by a bronze plate containing the inscribed names of the nearly 3,000 people who lost their lives in the tragedy.
My favorite part of the memorial lies to the west of the south pool with a Callery pear tree. This tree is simply known as the ‘Survivor Tree.’ The tree was originally planted back in the 1970s when the WTC plaza was first constructed. Nearly 40 years later during the collapse of the twin towers, the tree was reduced to nothing more than a stump about eight feet in height. When cleaning the rubble from the site, crews found the tree—still alive despite the insurmountable injuries it sustained.
The tree was nursed back to health and has grown to be somewhere in the vicinity of thirty feet tall; in 2010, the tree was replanted again at the site of the memorial where it is still given extra support as the roots find their way into the earth it once knew so well.
True to its growth and adversity it has earned its name—the Survivor Tree. And just so you know, it was the only tree on site that was fully leafed out...how's that for thriving?
If you would like to take the Google Earth Virtual Tour, it’s kind of cool…but nothing like being there for real.