After nearly nine years, life is returning to ground zero in a tangible way.
Crews Saturday began planting 16 swamp white oaks at the World Trade Center site. They are the first of nearly 400 trees to be planted around the eight-acre memorial to the nearly 2,800 people were killed when terrorists attacked the twin towers on Sept. 11, 2001.
The trees will dot a cobblestone plaza surrounding two huge pools built on the footprints of the destroyed towers.
Joe Daniels, president of the 9/11 Memorial Foundation, was on hand at the site to help with the planting. He said designers of the memorial envisioned a lush and quiet green space that would bring solace to visitors.
"When people come up to the pools and see the names and be under this canopy, this forest, it will be a very peaceful environment," Daniels said.