MIDDLETOWN — Weeks after the Sept. 11 attacks on the World Trade Center, a sign of life was found in the rubble at Ground Zero — a pear tree with cracked roots and burned branches.

Now known as the Survivor Tree, it was nursed back to health and its cuttings were used to produce a limited number of clones. And one of them now has a home in the Garden State.

Middletown Township is the first municipality outside of New York City to receive a clone of the tree that endured the attacks in 2001.

Donated by the New York City Department of Parks & Recreation, the 15-foot tree was transported via motorcade Tuesday to the Middletown World Trade Center Memorial Gardens. The tree was greeted by a large U.S. flag presented by the local fire department, and the U.S. Naval Weapons Station Earle Color Guard presented the colors to begin the ceremony.

"Here in Middletown, we promised that we would never forget the 37 residents that lost their lives on that day," Mayor Tony Perry told New Jersey 101.5.

Middletown recorded the greatest number of 9/11 losses after New York City.

Middletown Township receives a clone of the 9/11 Survivor Tree (Middletown Township)
Middletown Township receives a clone of the 9/11 Survivor Tree (Middletown Township)
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Perry said the cloned offspring will be planted at the Gardens ahead of the 21st anniversary of the 9/11 attacks. Last year, the memorial site received new landscaping and lighting, as well as a walkway of personalized bricks.

“This is a tremendous gift from NYC Parks that we will forever cherish," Perry said.

Since its rehabilitation, the original Survivor Tree was delivered to the National 9/11 Memorial in 2010.

“New limbs have extended from the gnarled stumps, creating a visible demarcation between the tree’s past and present,” reads the 9/11 Memorial & Museum’s website.

Dino Flammia is a reporter for New Jersey 101.5. You can reach him at dino.flammia@townsquaremedia.com

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