Sapling of Survivor Tree Planted at 9/11 Memorial in Time for Ceremony

The Callery Pear Tree Sapling is propped up straight by a length of wood as the Clovis High Choir looks on. The sapling, a part of the Callery Pear Tree found at Ground Zero after the September 11th, 2001 terrorist attacks, was delivered to the California 9/11 Memorial. (Photo JT Gomez, Clovis Roundup)

At the California 9/11 Memorial in Clovis, a ceremony was held to commemorate and to remember those who lost their lives in the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

But days before the ceremony commenced, a sapling from the original “Survivor Tree” was planted at the site for all to see. 

The “Survivor Tree”, a Callery pear tree that survived the attacks at Ground Zero, was saved from the rubble and placed in the care of the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation.

Although initially severely damaged with snapped roots, burned and broken branches, the tree was saved. Once recovered fully, it made its way back to the now standing Memorial at Ground Zero in 2010.

According to the 9/11 Memorial & Museum, the tree today “stands as a living reminder of resilience, survival, and rebirth.”

The 9/11 Memorial & Museum holds a “Survivor Tree Seedling Program”, a program in which the Memorial gives seedlings away from the original Survivor Tree to “three communities that have endured tragedy in recent years.”

This year, Clovis’ California 9/11 Memorial, one of the largest memorials across the nation, was awarded the opportunity of receiving a sapling from the Survivor Tree. 

Clovis residents and all spectators alike were then afforded the opportunity to not only visit the sapling, but also visit the 9/11 Memorial itself as well as the annual ceremony that the California 9/11 Memorial holds. 

After an opening choir performance by Clovis High School, dispatch calls from the actual 9/11 events were heard followed by the lowering of the flag, a National Anthem, wreath procession, and Ceremony of Retreat.

The final folded flag, folded thirteen times, each for significant reasons, was given to Clovis Police Chief Curt Fleming, a distinction bestowed upon the chief that he called, “a true honor.”

“Really, I’m kind of speechless that I was selected to take on the outcome of the military, police, and civilians that lost their lives. It’s a huge honor, and I’m speechless like I said.”

Chief Fleming then went on to comment on the overall ceremony held at the 9/11 Memorial. “I’d just like to thank the 9/11 Memorial Board, Cook Land Development for really continuing this and hopefully, kids fifty, sixty years from now continue to understand what 9/11 was about.”

Chief Fleming mentioned “an education” and how this manages how future generations will come to understand the 9/11 attacks and what those attacks and the departed truly mean to both the community of Clovis as well as countless other communities across the nation. 

The California 9/11 Memorial Board, as evident by the amount of time and effort they put into both the service presented for free to the public on September 11th, as well as the Memorial itself illustrates just how important a phenomenon like the 9/11 attacks and remembering those who lost their lives really means to the American public. 

Even an example as small as a sapling of a pear tree can come to have huge implications for a nation in grieving, as well as a community in mourning. 

JT is a recent college grad with a Bachelor of Arts in Communication. He is mainly interested in sports and entertainment but covers a wide array of subjects. He currently writes for the Fresno State Baseball Dugout Club. JT looks forward to continuing his career at the Clovis Roundup and is excited to be working closely with a community that is very proud of its people.