A seedling from a tree that survived the September 11 attack on the World Trade Centre in 2001 is to be presented to Manchester in a statement of solidarity from New York.
The gift comes from the National September 11 Memorial & Museum as a way of showing support for Manchester as it continues to heal in the wake of the May 22 terror attack.
The seedling has been grown from the 9/11 Memorial’s own Survivor Tree, a Callery pear tree.
The Survivor Tree stood on the original World Trade Centre plaza, and on September 11 2001, was nearly destroyed – but with time and care it was nursed back to health. Today it stands as a symbol of strength and resilience and remains on the 9/11 Memorial plaza.
Since 2013, the 9/11 Memorial & Museum has donated Survivor Tree seedlings to 12 communities that have demonstrated resilience in the face of adversity. Last year’s recipients were San Bernardino, California (in memory of the 14 people killed and 22 injured on December 2, 2015), Orlando, Florida (in memory of the 49 people killed and 58 injured at the Pulse Nightclub on June 12 2016) and The Country of France (in memory of the 130 people killed and 368 injured in Paris on November 13, 2015 and the 86 people killed and 434 injured in the Bastille Day attacks in Nice on July 14, 2016).
The tree will be carefully stored and its ultimate location considered as part of the process to determine the form and location of a permanent memorial, or memorials, to the Manchester Arena terror attack. An advisory group of city leaders has been established to advise the Council on this process, which will take place in communication and consultation with bereaved families and others affected by the 22 May attack.
Sir Richard Leese, leader of Manchester City Council, said: “It’s an honour to accept this tribute from the National September 11 Memorial & Museum and a beautiful reminder of the outpouring of support we received from around the world following the terrible events of May 22.
“The thing that unites all the locations that have received seedlings from the Survivor Tree is not terror but our shared solidarity, courage and resilience. As the seedling flourishes into a tree I hope that it will come to encompass our shared values and show that we are strongest when we stand together.”
National September 11 Memorial & Museum President Alice M. Greenwald said: “The Survivor Tree embodies the strength and resilience demonstrated by our nation after the September 11, 2001 attacks.
“The seedlings distributed through this annual program provide hope and the promise of renewal to communities that have endured unimaginable hardship and suffering like Manchester, Charleston and Haiti.”