New England Patriots and One Tree Planted Create Memorial Garden in Honor of 9/11

Kaylee Brzezinski | September 10, 2021 | 4 min read

The September 11 Attacks, also known as 9/11, forever changed the lives of Americans. To this day, stories are swapped about where we were when we heard that planes had hit the twin towers of the World Trade Center in New York City. While much healing has been done, the memory is still very vivid for most Americans — even 20 years later. 

To commemorate the 20th anniversary of 9/11, we created a memorial garden at Gillette Stadium with the New England Patriots and the New England Revolution to honor the lives lost on September 11, 2001. On September 9th 2021, a ceremony was held at the stadium to launch the opening of two other exhibits for the 20th anniversary of 9/11: a display wall, and a memorial of steel from the World Trade Center.

Gillette Stadium memorial garden
memory rocks for 9/11 victims
Gillette Stadium


The Memorial Garden

The garden features a semi-circle of six flowering dogwood trees, one to represent each of the six New England states. Memory stones, which were created by players and cheerleaders of the New England Patriots and the New England Revolution, were placed at the base of the trees to recognize lives lost from New England.

Dogwood trees are a perfect representation of having the ability to thrive during challenging times even as they bloom. This landscape tree, which is native to North America, is symbolic of rebirth and change. It also has a rich history in the region, as Indigenous people would use the blossoming of the dogwood trees as sign of the changing seasons, to begin planting their harvest, particularly corn. This garden will be open to the public. 

Men planting large tree
Joshua Kraft giving speech
men in front of gillette stadium
Robert Kraft and men in front of gillette stadium
men planting a garden
memorial garden


A Team Effort

In true New England fashion, this memorial garden was a team effort. As a country, we've had to unite over the last 20 years to heal from this experience. And like trees, we're stronger when we stand together. We hope that this 9/11 Memorial Tree Planting serves as a reminder of our collective strength in overcoming hardships. Not only will these trees be a living installation of resilience, they will provide hope and beauty to all those who visit the garden to remember the brave souls who endured this tragic event. 

If you would like to honor a loved one, you may plant a tree here

Plant Trees Where They're Needed Most
Plant Trees Where They're Needed Most
Plant Trees Where They're Needed Most
Plant Trees Where They're Needed Most
Plant Trees Where They're Needed Most
Plant Trees Where They're Needed Most
Plant Trees Where They're Needed Most
Plant Trees Where They're Needed Most
Plant Trees Where They're Needed Most
Plant Trees Where They're Needed Most
Plant Trees Where They're Needed Most
Plant Trees Where They're Needed Most
Plant Trees Where They're Needed Most
Plant Trees Where They're Needed Most

Plant Trees Where They're Needed Most

As the need for reforestation is global and ever-changing, we feature where trees are most needed now. This project is currently supporting AFR100, the African Forest Landscape Initiative. Learn more

With your help, we will:

  • Provide jobs to minimize poverty in local communities
  • Improve climate change resilience & mitigation
  • Restore forest cover to improve food security
  • Africa is home to the world's second-largest tropical rainforest. The Congo Basin is home to 60% of the continent's biodiversity. However, unfortunately, Africa is alarmingly at risk due to the current deforestation rate - which is 4 times the global deforestation rate. Not only does this threaten the livelihoods of its local communities, but it also affects the planet as a whole.
    Thanks to AFR100, Africa is on a mission to reverse these trends and restore 100 million hectares of land by 2030. This country-led effort will bring 100 million hectares of land in Africa into restoration by 2030. This initiative aims to accelerate restoration to enhance food security, increase climate change resilience and mitigation and combat rural poverty. This includes 32 participating countries in Africa, along with local communities, national governments, public and private sector partners, and international development programs.
  • Planting trees in Africa reaps multiple benefits! Notably, reforestation here will help to add nutrients to the soil and control erosion, minimize poverty within local communities through the creation of jobs, and improve food security by feeding impoverished families through the planting of fruit trees. Ultimately, added forest cover in this region will diminish pressure on remaining forests, allowing for biodiversity to flourish and ultimately helping with the global climate crisis.
  • A personalized tree certificate (see gallery) to say thanks for your donation. We'll also send you updates about this project, so you can track the impact your trees are having on the community and environment.
  • We will plant an array of indigenous tree species throughout Africa, such as Senegalia polyacantha, Faidherbia albida, Albizia adianthifolia, Persea americana, Calliandra calothyrsus, Macadamia spp., shea, and mahogany. Fruit trees will also be planted, which include mango, orange, tangerine, avocado, apple, guava, and Brazil nut.

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