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9/11 'survivor tree' planted in Bakersfield

Organizers say it's a living reminder of the 9/11 tragedy, and on Friday they planted a "survivor tree." The small tree comes from a seed gathered from a tree found at Ground Zero.

"There was a tree that actually survived, even though it was covered with rubble for months and months," Bakersfield Fire Chief Doug Greener explained. "The workers pulled it out, transplanted it back in New York, it's outside the World Trade Center in Manhattan where it survives today."

On Friday, the sapling from that original survivor tree was planted in a ceremony also attended by Congressman Kevin McCarthy. He says it's an honor to have the memento.

"When you think about it, and what this area has become, to honor those who lost their lives, that they did not die in vain," McCarthy told Eyewitness News. "Here's a community that honors them, we honor their lives. We honor what they do for this community."

The small tree is now near the 9/11 Memorial that's been erected between the Bakersfield Fire station and Bakersfield Police substation on Buena Vista Road. That already included a large beam from the destroyed structure at the World Trade Center.

Organizers say it took seven months of planning to bring the tree to the Bakersfield site, and it's an honor to have the sapling from that original survivor tree.

"It was the last living thing that was pulled from the pit," Greener said. He says it's a reminder of surviving and moving forward.

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