The last living thing to leave Ground Zero was a pear tree.
A Callery pear tree, specifically. The tree was discovered in the rubble of the World Trade Center after 9/11, and though it was heavily damaged, it's since been nursed back to health in the Bronx and is being returned to the National 9/11 Memorial in Lower Manhattan.
This is its story.
Filmmaker Scott Elliott made this short about the "Survivor Tree" (as it's now known) for Narrative.ly. It's called "The Tree That Would Not Be Broken."
Elliott wants to include the story of the Survivor Tree in a planned full-length film
"documenting the epic journey of over 400 swamp white oak trees from their home in special cradles in the New Jersey countryside to the landscaped plaza of the 9/11 Memorial."
A Kickstarter campaign to raise the $50,000 necessary to get the film – which also focuses on the landscapers and architects that worked on the memorial – through post production is in progress. It runs through July 13, and you can donate here