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9/11: ‘Freedom Tree' groves a place for remembrance – QNS.com

9/11: ‘Freedom Tree' groves a place for remembrance

With the five-year anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks approaching, Queens Parks Commissioner Dorothy Lewandowski invited Queens residents to visit two &#8220Freedom Tree” groves as places of remembrance.
&#8220Parks have served as places of healing for many people in remembering the tragedy of 9/11,” Lewandowski said, while examining the 13 purple leaf plum trees at one of two parks for the &#8220Freedom Trees” near LaGuardia Airport.
Two years ago, the &#8220Freedom Trees” were planted to remember the estimated 2996 people that perished during the 2001 terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center, and today the trees in the site near LaGuardia tower up to 12 feet in height and are in full bloom.
At &#8220Landing Lights” Park, located on 25th Avenue between 80th and 79th Streets, the purplish-red trees stand as a memorial underneath the air-path of planes landing at LaGuardia, which pass overhead en route to the airport.
&#8220This grove serves as an area for people to contemplate the tragedy of 9/11, while also regenerating themselves,” Lewandowski said.
Planted by collaboration of the New York City Parks Department and with funds raised by The Queens Courier, the &#8220Freedom Trees” were born from a 2002 Courier editorial in which the paper's editors called for every American city to &#8220plant a Freedom Tree for each one of its sons and daughters.”
Funds contributed by Sal and Antoinette Zuccarello, owners of Queens Garden Florist, and raised during The Queens Courier's 2002 Top Ten Women In Business event helped to pay for the trees' planting. Two years after the idea's conception, two groves of trees stood in Queens - at Lefferts Park, on Lefferts Boulevard and the Belt Parkway, and at Landing Lights.
Zuccarello, who also visited the Landing Lights location last week, said that he was happy to see the trees had grown from their original height of about five feet.
&#8220It's good to be working for a good cause,” he said.
As a part of the parks' upkeep, two new trees will be planted in the Landing Lights grove this fall to replace those that did not survive.

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