The Little Known Story of the 911 Survivor Tree

9/11 "Survivor Tree" New York (Carole Leskin Photo)
The 9/11 Survivor Tree at the 9/11 National Memorial, New York (Carole Leskin Photo/Used by Permission)
I suppose, like many of you, I have vivid memories of 9/11 and watch the commemorations every year. For me, it was personal. I was at work early that morning for a meeting with 15 other people. We had the TV turned on and suddenly found ourselves watching in horror as the first plane hit the tower — and then the second. Suddenly, our young, well-liked VP of Marketing let out a scream and collapsed, crying uncontrollably.
“That’s my brother”!
Michael Horrocks was the First Officer of the second plane that hit the Tower.
It felt like a nightmare. But it was real. His brother, our colleague and friend was distraught. One of his friends drove him home. We did not see him again for 14 weeks. He assumed responsibility for his sister-in-law and their 3 young children.
When he finally returned to work he was not the same man. He gave notice 3 months later, unable to carry on the work he had loved but had become a terrible burden.
Yesterday, I was on a virtual tour with guide Jon Nota who is a NYC native and incredible storyteller. It was the first of three tours he will be giving commemorating 9/11.
And it was the first time I heard the story of the Survivor Tree.
I cried.
It is such a beautiful memorial and yet almost no one knows about it.

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