Since that horrible day, I had only once been to the site, formerly called Ground Zero, back in 2002. At that time, no construction had started. The area was quiet, with storefronts still displaying painted signs of sorrow and grief. The site itself was a raw and hauntingly huge hole in the ground, waiting for what was to be built in its memory. The only piece of new construction was a welded cross of two steal girders — which is now located inside the 911 Museum.
The entire site leaves one speechless and indelibly changed. And one of the more easy to miss aspects of the memorial is the "Survivor Tree." The severely damaged pear tree miraculously survived and was brought back to life offsite. Now since returned, the tree stands as hope embodied, sending three seedlings each year to communities that have experienced great tragedy.
(click on image for full size)