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9/11 'Survivor Tree' blossoms at start of spring

The Survivor Tree blossoms, Tuesday, March 20, 2012 at the World Trade Center in New York. One World Trade Center, left, now up to the 93rd floor, is scheduled for completion in 2013. The callery pear, salvaged from the rubble following the attacks of September 11, 2001, was nursed back to health and replanted at the National September 11 Memorial. The Survivor Tree blossoms, Tuesday, March 20, 2012 at the World Trade Center in New York. One World Trade Center, left, now up to the 93rd floor, is scheduled for completion in 2013. The callery pear, salvaged from the rubble following the attacks of September 11, 2001, was nursed back to health and replanted at the National September 11 Memorial. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)
By Verena Dobnik
Associated Press / March 20, 2012
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NEW YORK—A pear tree that miraculously survived the Sept. 11 terror attack blossomed at ground zero on the first day of spring.

The "Survivor Tree" -- as it's been dubbed -- was discovered amid the smoldering rubble, limbs lifeless, roots snapped, trunk blackened. Workers freed it and it was nursed back to health in a Bronx park before it was replanted.

Now topping 30 feet -- four times its size in 2001 -- it towers above other trees in Memorial Plaza at the World Trade Center. On Tuesday, it sprouted white blossoms, seen for the first time by visitors to the 9/11 memorial that opened last September.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg says the tree is a testament to New York's "ability to endure" and "unshakeable belief in a brighter future."

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