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."