Highest Honor Possible bestowed on Hopatcong – Seedling of World Trade Center Survivor Tree

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During the council meeting of 04/21/2021, Mayor Michael Francis made the announcement that stated,

Survior Tree In1“This is a real honor for our volunteers and first responders.

The tree will be planted in Fireman’s Park to honor our Volunteers and First Responders.”

Details on when and where we pick it up are still being worked out.”

The Borough of Hopatcong was honored by the 9/11 Museum. The Museum provides only three trees that are given out each year as shown by the past recipients listed below.

The Borough will be sending a Fire Truck into NYC to pick-up the tree which will be planted in Fireman’s Park at a date to be determined.

The Survivor Tree:

This Survivor Tree is a Callery pear tree, that became known as the “Survivor Tree” after enduring the September 11, 2001 terror attacks at the World Trade Center.

tree2.cityroom.190In October 2001, a severely damaged tree was discovered at Ground Zero, with snapped roots and burned and broken branches. The tree was removed from the rubble and placed in the care of the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation.

After its recovery and rehabilitation, the tree was returned to the Memorial in 2010. New, smooth limbs extended from the gnarled stumps, creating a visible demarcation between the tree’s past and present. Today, the tree stands as a living reminder of resilience, survival, and rebirth.

Each year, the 9/11 Memorial gives seedlings from the Survivor Tree to three communities, this year the Borough of Hopatcong will be receiving one of the seedlings, which now stand about 6 – 10’ tall.

The Survivor Tree seedling program was launched on September 11, 2013, in partnership with Bartlett Tree Experts of Stamford, Connecticut, and John Bowne High School in the Flushing neighborhood of Queens.

The following communities have committed to nurturing these trees to serve as landmarks symbolizing resiliency and hope.

Past Honorees of the Seedlings:


  • The Bahamas, devastated by Hurricane Dorian, which killed 70 people.
  • Christchurch, New Zealand, the site of a mass shooting, which killed 51 people.
  • Seedlings were also donated to five hospitals throughout New York City’s five boroughs in honor of the healthcare workers responding to the health crisis.


  • Las Vegas, Nevada, where a gunman killed 58 people and injured 400 more at the Route 91 Harvest Festival in October 2017.
  • Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, where 11 people were shot and killed and six were injured at the Tree of Life Synagogue.
  • The country of Greece, where 102 died and 172 were injured in a series of wildfires in 2018. The municipality of Marathon will accept the seedling on behalf of the country.


  • Parkland, Florida, where a gunman killed 17 people in February 2018, including students and staff members, at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.
  • London, England, in memory of those who lost their lives, and on behalf of the bereaved, the survivors, and all those affected by the tragic Grenfell Tower fire.
  • Puerto Rico, after the catastrophic Hurricane Maria, which left an estimated 2,975 people dead in its wake.


  • Manchester, England, in memory of the 22 people, including young adults and children, who were killed by a terrorist bombing at an Ariana Grande concert on May 22, 2017.
  • Charleston, South Carolina, in memory of the nine people killed in a shooting at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church.
  • The country of Haiti, which was devastated by Hurricane Matthew in October 2016.


  • San Bernardino, California, in memory of the 14 people killed and 22 injured on December 2, 2015.
  • Orlando, Florida, in memory of the 49 people killed and 58 injured at Pulse Nightclub on June 12, 2016. The seedling has been planted at the Harry P. Leu Gardens in Orlando.
  • The country of France, in memory of the 139 people killed and 368 people injured in Paris on November 13, 2015, and the 86 people killed and 434 injured in the Bastille Day attacks in Nice on July 14, 2016. The seedling has been planted in Paris.


  • Newtown, Connecticut, in memory of the 20 schoolchildren and six adults who were killed on December 14, 2012, at Sandy Hook Elementary School.
  • Joplin, Missouri, in memory of the more than 150 people killed and more than 1,000 injured by a tornado in Joplin on May 22, 2011.
  • Madrid, in memory of the 2004 coordinated terror bombings against the Cercanías commuter train system of Madrid that killed 190 people and wounded 1,800.


  • Oso, Washington, in memory of the 43 people killed in a mudslide that struck the small town on March 22, 2014, and in recognition of the town's resiliency.
  • Gulfport, Mississippi, to remember those who died in the region devastated by Hurricane Katrina in August 2005.
  • Fort Hood in Killeen, Texas, in honor of the 16 victims and survivors of the shootings on November 5, 2009, and April 2, 2014, and in acknowledgment of the continued sacrifice of the men and women who serve and their families.


  • Far Rockaway in Queens, New York, which was torn and battered in 2012 by Superstorm Sandy.
  • Prescott, Arizona, in honor of the 19 firefighting members of the Granite Mountain Hotshots who died on June 30, 2013. The fires in Arizona resulted in the highest number of American firefighters killed in a single incident since 9/11.
  • Boston, Massachusetts, in honor of the three people killed in the bombing at its marathon on April 15, 2013.

The Survivor Tree stands on the 9/11 Memorial Plaza as a living reminder of resilience, survival, and rebirth.


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