Born September 11, 2001
Her Dad: “She came in on a tragedy and she left on a tragedy.”
Christina-Taylor Green’s short life was pinned between two national tragedies: She was born Sept. 11, 2001, and she died as a gunman apparently targeting Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-Ariz.) shot 20 people in Tucson.
Christina, a budding elementary school politician, was the youngest of the six killed in Saturday’s shooting.
The 9-year-old, who had big brown eyes and long brown hair, recently had been elected to her student council. She went with a family friend to see Giffords speak, a way to learn more about serving in government.
“Christina Green was a wonderful child,” said her teacher, Kathie DeKnikker. “She had not only the energy and enthusiasm of a typical third-grader but also maturity and insight that most children don’t attain until much later.”
Christina’s love of civics began early.
DeKnikker said she was a leader in her classroom at Mesa Verde Elementary.
“The thing I will remember most about Christina was her well-developed sense of humor. Oh, how she could make us laugh with her witty comments,” she said.
The young girl, who was the only girl to play for the Pirates, the Canyon del Oro Little League baseball team, continued the family’s baseball tradition. Her father, John Green, is a scout for the Los Angeles Dodgers. Her grandfather, Dallas Green, is a former major league pitcher and manager who managed the Philadelphia Phillies from 1979 to 1981, winning a World Series title in 1980. He also managed the Yankees and the Mets.
Christina had an 11-year-old brother, also named Dallas, and the two loved to go swimming together, her parents said.
“She kept up with everyone. She was a strong girl, a very good athlete and a strong swimmer,” her mother said in interviews with the local paper. “She was interested in everything. She got a guitar for Christmas, so her next thing was learning to play guitar.”
Christina had just received her first Holy Communion at St. Odilia Catholic Church, Catholic Diocese of Tucson officials told the Daily Star.
“She was real special and real sweet,” her uncle Greg Segalini told the Arizona Republic.
She was aware of the “inequalities” of the world, her mother said. Christina often repeated the same phrase: “We are so blessed. We have the best life.”
Described as smart, quiet and gentle, 9-year-old Christina was born on Sept. 11, 2001. She was featured in a 2002 book of portraits called “Faces of Hope” about children born that day.
“She came in on a tragedy and she left on a tragedy,” her father, John Green, told a Tucson TV station.
When she was little, Christina would tell people she was born on a holiday. “We’d have to correct her,” her mother, Roxanna Green, told Fox News. “When she got older, she would try to see the positive in it … ’cause it’s a day of hope.”
Bill Badger, who subdued the gunman, said he noticed Christina before the carnage began. The third-grader was standing behind Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, getting ready to meet the politician. The little girl was beaming.
Her mother said Christina was patriotic and liked to wear red, white and blue. Like a lot of girls her age, she loved animals, and wanted to be a vet. She was also a passionate dancer, and the only girl on her baseball team. Her talent for baseball was ingrained — her father is a scout for the Los Angeles Dodgers and her grandfather is Dallas Green, a former major league pitcher who managed the Philadelphia Phillies to a World Series title in 1980.
“We’re all hurting pretty bad,” Dallas Green told the New York Daily News. “The worst thing to ever happen to us.” The family has an 11-year-old son named Dallas.
Christina had just been elected to the student council at Mesa Verde Elementary School in Tucson. “She was a good speaker,” her father told the Arizona Daily Star. “I could have easily seen her as a politician.”
Knowing of her interest in politics, a neighbor invited her to meet Giffords on Saturday.
Authorities said Christina was dead by the time she arrived at the hospital.
“She had a bullet hole to the chest, and they tried to save her but she just couldn’t make it,” her mother told Fox. “It was really, really bad.”
At St. Odilia’s Parish, the Catholic church the Greens attend, Christina was described as smart and gentle. “She was a spectacular girl, but no one knew it. She was so quiet,” Teresa Bier, the church’s director of religious education, said Sunday.
Christina received her First Communion in the small turquoise building and sang in the children’s choir, Joyful Noise.
“She was just the sweetest little thing,” said Mary Figge, whose daughter, Mia, played on scooters with Christina last week. “She was always bubbly, always smiling.”
Died January 8, 2011
“Some men see things as they are and say Why. I dream things that never were and say Why not.”
— Robert F. Kennedy
I personally do not have any understanding of anything that happens in life. The why’s or the why nots. I only know that my heart aches for this childs loss. May God Speed and help us all.
To the family, friends, all that knew and experienced Christina’s life around them. Know that you are not alone in your pain for a Nation hurts and cries with you. How can one imagine the unimaginable.