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The Survivor Tree: A story of resilience from 9/11

survivortree_bloomingin2010_911memorialdotorg

The Survivor Tree, 2010 | 911Memorial.org

The tree’s branches were severed but a few green leaves remained, each leaf a sign of life against the blackened sky. On that day, we grieved as New Yorkers, and global citizens, for the innocent lives lost and the knowledge that in many ways, life would never be the same.

The Survivor Tree, November 2001 | 911Memorial.org/

The Survivor Tree, November 2001 | 911Memorial.org

The tree was carefully removed from the World Trade Center site and it began to recover, sprouting new branches and flourishing in the sun. Replanted at the 9/11 Memorial, in the spring, it’s white flowers spread across the sky, honoring the victims and reminding us of our strength when we stand together.

Together, we are a strong, resilient nation, just like The Survivor Tree.

By Nicole Margaretten


To view a slideshow of the Survivor Tree’s transformation, please visit the 911 Memorial’s gallery.

 

Combat Extremism – New Resources from Tanenbaum!

Dear Friends,

Today is a day for remembrance, condemnation and action.
  • We remember the nearly 3,000 innocent women, men and children from more than 370 countries and a vast array of religions and beliefs, who were lost on September 11, 2001.
  • We condemn the expansion of terrorism and the horror it inflicts on its victims. We see the face of those victims in the Syrian refugees willing to risk a child’s death rather than remain in a land beset by a brutal government and the savagery of extremists. And in so many others fleeing violent extremism in Iraq, Myanmar, Libya and too many other countries.
  • We take action. Through the work of our Peacemakers in Action we counter terrorists worldwide. And through Tanenbaum’s Multifaith Alliance for Syrian Refugees project we raise emergency funds for humanitarian disaster relief agencies working with Syrian refugees while planting the seeds for future stability in the region.

Violent religious extremism can feel insurmountable. But there are simple actions you can take to thwart the local growth of radicalism and prevent individuals (including youth) from feeling marginalized. We ask you to join us – in memory of 9/11 and because of today’s refugees – to help defy extremism:

Sign the Peacemaker’s Change.org petition against extremism.
Tanenbaum’s religiously motivated Peacemakers in Action work to stop violence and brutal extremism in the world’s worst conflicts. And now, they have joined forces to create a Campaign Against Extremism on Change.org – making a beautiful pledge toward building a safer future. Sign the petition today – and commit to taking action!
Visit Tanenbaum each month for new resources for combating extremism.
Starting today, we’re offering free, practical resources that can be used at home or at work, in schools, places of worship and in your community. Read, download and share our September 11 Fact Sheet and World Religions Fact Sheet today. Use them to begin a discussion at your house of worship, community center or over a workplace lunch and learn. Challenge your children and students to read them and ask questions – and then research answers. Learn the facts! Speak up! And please share your ideas for ways to use these resources to counter hate and terror.

We’ll be sharing new resources every month this year. So visit us on the 15th of each month and check out your new resources!

Each of us has a unique and powerful role in stopping extremism but we must take action!

With great hope for peace,
Joyce S. Dubensky,
CEO

Opening Hearts and Minds to Peace

On Thursday, October 24, Conrad Tao performed A Piece for Peace, at Weill Concert Hall at Carnegie Hall, opening the audience’s hearts and minds to peace.

Conrad debuted compositions by Gordon Getty (pictured, above, with Conrad) and performed pieces by Meredith Monk and Ravel. The audience gave the Conrad a standing ovation.

At a reception before Conrad’s performance, Brian Neff, a tenor and social entrepreneur, treated attendees to a special surprise performance.

Though Brian and Conrad created an inspirational and festive atmosphere, the danger that our Peacemakers in Action face every day was not far from our minds.

Dr. Ephraim Isaac, our Peacemaker from Ethiopia attended the event to show his support for his fellow Peacemaker Ricardo Esquiva Ballestas. As Joyce Dubensky, CEO of Tanenbaum, eloquently stated when she introduced Conrad, Ricardo’s life is in danger because he ardently works to bring peace and security to Columbia’s most vulnerable populations.

Through their music and performances, Brian and Conrad showed that they stand for peace and against persecution. We encourage both those who attended and anyone who supports peace to sign the petition calling for an end to Ricardo’s persecution.

Read the call to action here: https://www.tanenbaum.org/blog/09/13/call-action-help-protect-life-and-saftey-peacemaker-action-ricardo-esquivia

Justine O’Sullivan, Communications Assistant

Conrad Tao Wows – and Connects with Tanenbaum

Last night marked another exceptional performance by Conrad Tao, a dear friend to Tanenbaum and an awe-inspiring artist.  One attendee went so far as to say, “What inner voice; what passion; what power; what joy; what contrasts… what a great concert… and all after a lovely reception with the beauty of songs of peace!”  If you’d like a taste of Conrad’s work, take a look at this video.  

As he did last year, Conrad brought the audience of the 2nd annual A Piece for Peace concert to their feet in a program that included Bach, Chopin, Liszt, and Prokofiev – and a Conrad Tao original! 
 
Almost more impressive, though, was the way Conrad broke the invisible, yet tangible screen between himself and the audience, when he shared his thoughts on Prokofiev’s Sonata Number 7.  Before playing the piece, he explained how Prokofiev wrote the work under extreme duress imposed by Joseph Stalin, and how, in Conrad’s opinion, that the work reflects Prokofiev’s intense desire for peace worldwide, both within us all and between us all.  We couldn’t agree more with Conrad’s statement that, “difference is not something we should fear, but something we should celebrate.”
 
The connection between the piece, the performer, and the audience was remarkable. 
 
If you would like to hear more of Conrad’s work, his Julliard Sessions are now available on itunes.
 
Thank you to all who joined us last night.  And to those who could not come, we look forward to seeing you next year.
 
Mike Ward
Communications Associate