9/11's Survivor Tree

The last living thing to be rescued from the site of Ground Zero twenty years ago is now called the "Survivor Tree." It's a callery pear tree, one of many planted in Manhattan over the years. About thirty years old in 2001, its upper branches above the main trunk were shattered by the fall of the Twin Towers. It was reduced to a stump with broken and burned branches, no more than eight feet tall. Although it was considered "mortally wounded," it was moved to a Bronx nursery, where it was replanted and carefully nurtured. The following spring, new branches began to grow from the broken ends. In December 2010, it was moved back to Ground Zero, where it now stands, over thirty feet tall, blossoming profusely every spring, and capable of living for another 30 or 40 years. (It is pictured on the cover. See also: youtube.com/watch?v=5bLw6bREcbU.)

We instinctively consider this tree more remarkable than any of the other trees planted at the World Trade Center site. We may take life for granted, but when life resurges after suffering wounds, it elicits our wonder and admiration. We more highly esteem those who overcome suffering and adversity.

James M. Kushiner is the Executive Editor of Touchstone.


more on America from the online archives

30.5—Sept/Oct 2017

Passions' Republic

The Christian Cure for What Ails Modern Politics by David Bradshaw

29.4—July/August 2016

Deep Roots

Russell Kirk: American Conservative by Bradley J. Birzer by Hunter Baker

29.2—March/April 2016

Family Phases

The History of Family Strength in America May Reveal Good News by Allan C. Carlson

calling all readers

Please Donate

"There are magazines worth reading but few worth saving . . . Touchstone is just such a magazine."
—Alice von Hildebrand

"Here we do not concede one square millimeter of territory to falsehood, folly, contemporary sentimentality, or fashion. We speak the truth, and let God be our judge. . . . Touchstone is the one committedly Christian conservative journal."
—Anthony Esolen, Touchstone senior editor

Support Touchstone

• Not a subscriber or wish to renew your subscription? Subscribe to Touchstone today for full online access. Over 30 years of publishing!


personal subscriptions

Purchase
Online Subscription

Get a one-year full-access subscription to the Touchstone online archives including pdf downloads for only $19.95. That's only $1.66 per month!


RENEW your online subscription

Purchase Print &
Online Subscription

Get six issues (one year) of Touchstone PLUS full online access including pdf downloads for only $39.95. That's only $3.34 per month!


RENEW your print/online
subscription

gift subscriptions

GIVE Print &
Online Subscription

Give six issues (one year) of Touchstone PLUS full online access including pdf downloads for the reduced rate of $29.95. That's only $2.50 per month!


RENEW your gift subscription

Transactions will be processed on a secure server.

bulk subscriptions

Order Touchstone subscriptions in bulk and save $10 per sub! Each subscription includes 6 issues of Touchstone plus full online access to touchstonemag.com—including archives, videos, and pdf downloads of recent issues for only $29.95 each! Great for churches or study groups.

kindle subscription

OR get a subscription to Touchstone to read on your Kindle for only $1.99 per month! (This option is KINDLE ONLY and does not include either print or online.)

Your subscription goes a long way to ensure that Touchstone is able to continue its mission of publishing quality Christian articles and commentary.


more from the online archives

19.10—December 2006

God Rest Ye Merry

by Wilfred M. McClay

32.5—September/October 2019

Peter's Sword

by Patrick Henry Reardon

31.1—January/February 2018

Beggars Before Christ

on Taking the Measure of the Deserving & the Undeserving Poor by Martin Bordelon