University hosts Heroes Run and wreath-laying to honor those directly impacted on 20th anniversary of September 11, 2001.
Texas A&M University-San Antonio hosted several events to honor those directly impacted by the September 11 attacks that changed our nation and all our lives in untold ways two decades ago this year. The campus joined more than 90 communities worldwide to host the Travis Manion Foundation’s annual 9/11 Heroes Run, which began in 2007 to honor the nation’s first responders who were lost that day and the veterans who have served in wars since. More than 200 participants took part in the run.
The University also marked the fifth anniversary of the campus as the recipient and forever home of a “Survivor Tree” sapling with a wreath-laying ceremony and moment of silence. (In the accompanying photo, A&M-San Antonio Executive Director of Military Affairs and Strategic Initiatives Richard Delgado, left, lays a wreath at the Survivor Tree with SSgt Hector Jaramillo, U.S. Marine Corps.)
The story of the Survivor Tree. In October 2001, workers discovered a severely damaged Callery pear tree at Ground Zero. Following specialized care and rehabilitation, the tree stands once again at Ground Zero. Each year, the 9/11 Memorial awards a qualified applicant a sapling from this surviving tree. In 2016, A&M-San Antonio was selected as a recipient to honor those who have fallen and emphasize the University’s unique role as a military-embracing institution, with 13.8 percent of its student population composed of military-affiliated students. The institution’s “Survivor Tree,” one of only two in the state of Texas, is planted in the Healing Garden behind Patriots’ Casa.
“As the only university in the nation to have the honor to care for the Survivor seedling, we have a responsibility to continue to inspire and educate our community and future generations,” said A&M-San Antonio President Cynthia Teniente-Matson. “When we ask what the significance of the 20th anniversary means, this milestone requires that we stay connected to the tragedy of these events through educating others about the meaning of this day in history and our campus connection.”
In addition to the Survivor Tree, which the public is welcome to visit, the University is honored to house the 9/11 Exhibit from Ground Zero 360 displayed in Patriots’ Casa. These include two original paintings, personal artifacts of a fallen NYFD, Twin Tower Steel and Granite, and several photos.