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Entries in Christina-Taylor Green (10)

Wednesday
Jan042012

Young Tucson Victim's Parents 'Praying for' Giffords

ABC News(TUCSON, Ariz.) -- John and Roxanna Green's nine-year-old daughter, Christina-Taylor, was the youngest victim of last year's shooting in Tucson, the same spree that seriously injured Arizona Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords.

Twenty-three-year-old Jared Loughner, the accused killer, has been declared incompetent to stand trial, and sits in prison.

"I don't think about him," Roxanna Green told Nightline anchor Cynthia McFadden. "I think of, that she was, like, in a car accident."

The Greens said they had not attended any of the court proceedings and had no plans to, unless their participation were needed to serve justice.

"A waste of our energy," John Green said.

Asked what their reaction would be if the incompetent-to-stand-trial ruling stood and Loughner simply remained incarcerated, the Greens said they could accept it.

"As long as he never hurts anyone ever again, and is never able to get out...I would be OK with that," said Roxanna Green.

If Loughner did end up convicted of murder and executed, would the Greens take some comfort from his death?

"Not really," said John Green, who nonetheless supports the death penalty, according to Roxanna Green's new book. (She does not.) "It's not going to bring my girl back."

Loughner is never mentioned in As Good As She Imagined, the book Roxanna Green wrote with best-selling author Jerry Jenkins, which came out Jan. 3.

The Greens met with Congresswoman Giffords and her husband, Mark Kelly, over the Thanksgiving holiday, they said. Giffords and Kelly gave the Greens' son, Dallas, a model rocket signed by Kelly, an astronaut.

"We just kind of hugged each other and supported each other and said, you know, we're all in this together," John Green said. "We wanted to make sure they didn't harbor any guilt."

"It was nice to tell her in person that, you know, we love her, we're praying for you, and we hope you get better every day," Roxanna Green said.

President Obama met with the Greens in Tucson before the memorial service for the victims and survivors of the shooting.

"He said, 'There aren't any words, I'm so sorry,' and he gave us both a huge hug, and so did Mrs. Obama, and it just felt genuine and special," recalled Roxanna Green. "They just know, because they're parents, and they have the two lovely daughters. And it was just very comforting."

The title of Roxanna Green's book comes from a line in the speech President Obama gave in Tucson: "I want America to be as good as she imagined it."

The Greens recently founded the Christina-Taylor Green Memorial Foundation, which supports academic, athletic and arts programs in Tucson schools.

"We don't want anyone to ever forget about her, because she was an amazing little girl," Roxanna Green said. "She did exceptional work in the nine years she was here, and that's what our story is about. It's an inspiring story, and it's a story of hope."

Even having grieved and memorialized their daughter so fully, John Green said "moving on" was a hard, complicated prospect.

"There's times when I'm, uh, almost afraid to move on...or stop talking about her, because I know at some point the country is going to move on. That's why we thought it was important to tell this story, because there's going to be other tragedies in the world....But, right now our little girl is right on point, and people are learning things from her, so that, I guess that's a source of pride, and [there's] a sense of fear that, you know, some day that, that may go away."

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Apr132011

Baseball Field Named for Youngest Tucson Shooting Victim, Christina-Taylor Green

Ryan McVay/Thinkstock(TUCSON, Ariz.) -- The field where Christina-Taylor Green once played baseball and dreamed of becoming the first female major leaguer now bears her name and the statue of an angel.

On April 1, Little League's opening day, parents and children gathered to celebrate Christina-Taylor's life and the renaming of Field 1 for her.

Christina-Taylor, age 9, was shot in the chest Jan. 8 outside a Tucson, Ariz., grocery store. She was attending an informal town hall meeting for Rep. Gabrielle Giffords when alleged gunman Jared Loughner opened fire. She was the youngest of six people killed.

Her teammates in the Canyon Del Oro Little League, just northwest of Tucson, said that although it felt good to play baseball again, they missed her.

One of two girls on the team, Christina-Taylor would challenge a coach to a footrace and win; throw long from third base; and sing Beyonce songs in the field. Mae Sinclair, now the team's only female player, said Christina-Taylor showed the boys how to play baseball.

"She would catch balls and she would stand up to the boys even if they say she's a girl, she's not allowed to play," Mae said.

With the support of her father, John Green, a top scout for the Los Angeles Dodgers, Christina-Taylor aspired to be the first woman in the major leagues.

"I said, 'There aren't any [female Major League Baseball players] right now but that doesn't mean there can't be in the future,'" he said.

Her mother, Roxanna Green, said nothing prepares a parent for a child's death. "It was the worst day of my life," she said. "It was terrible."

Dallas Green, Christina-Taylor's grandfather and a former Philadelphia Phillies manager, said the family suffered through rough times. "It just hurt like, you just couldn't believe it," he said. "I mean you just couldn't believe that it could happen to her."

For Mae, Christina-Taylor's example lives on and inspires. "She goes, 'You know what, Daddy? I think I want to follow in Christina's steps and be that first woman baseball player,'" said her father, Lance Sinclair.

"She was one of my best friends," Mae said. "She was a great baseball player."

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Jan182011

Mom of Tucson Victim Urges Others to Consider Organ Donation

Photo Courtesy - Green Family(TUCSON, Ariz.) -- Roxanna and John Green, who lost their 9-year-old daughter in the Tucson shootings, say they have found some solace in the news this week that Christina-Taylor's organs have saved the life of a little girl in Boston and brought sight to two other children in Arizona.

"It was a blessing when we heard about the children," Roxanna Green told ABCNews.com. "It gives us some comfort that Christina would have wanted this. She was a giver. She was very strong…We didn't think twice about this. We are so honored we could help these children."

She said the family was committed to organ donation and urged others to consider that option after the tragic death of a child. "Take the time and think about this," she said.

"I knew we would need to talk about it as soon as we paid respects to Christina and prayed for her and she was up in heaven with God," said Roxanna Green, a devout Catholic. "She wanted to help others. That's what she wanted to do in life."

The couple learned Monday that their daughter's corneas had saved the eyesight of two children. Christina was the youngest victim of the shooting that left a total of six dead and 13 others wounded, including Rep. Gabrielle Giffords.

"We grew up in this family what we believe in helping others and it's the right thing to do," said Roxanna Green. "In this tragedy I lost my daughter and it was horrible and she is never going to come back, so why not help someone else, to help them live a better life with their sight or organs. It's a fair thing to do."

John Green, a scout for the Los Angeles Dodgers, said he feared that their daughter's organs would be unusable because of the severity of the gunshot wounds.

The Greens moved to Tucson specifically so Roxanna could care for her aging mother, according to the Los Angeles Times.

The family has suffered two losses in the last year -- their daughter and Roxanna Green's mother, who died of a brain-bleeding incident at the age of 74, but was otherwise healthy.

"We donated my mother's organs and Christina thought that was fabulous," said her mother.

Roxanna Green said she had no idea the specifics of Christina-Taylor's donations, because the family could not keep up with the phone calls since the Jan. 8 shooting incident.

"Our phone has been ringing 24/7 and we have been waiting to hear," she said.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Monday
Jan172011

Nine-Year-Old Arizona Shooting Victim's Organs Donated

Photo Courtesy - The Green Family/ ABC News/Handout(BOSTON) -- The organs of nine-year-old Christina-Taylor Green, the youngest victim of last week's shootings in Tucson, Arizona, have been donated to a Boston-area child, her father revealed to The Boston Globe.

The Globe reported Sunday that John Green told the newspaper that he received a phone call about the transplant, but does not know any further details about who received his little girl's organs, or at which hospital.

A spokesman for the New England Organ Bank told The Globe he is unable to comment on donations.

Green told The Globe that the news that his daughter's organs were able to save the life of another child "really lifted" his spirits, and he and her mother, Roxanna Green, are proud of Christina, "who has done another amazing thing."

CNN reports that when asked if he would like to meet the young girl who received his daughter's organs, John Green said yes, he would.

"I'd give her a big hug. It's a blessing," Green said.

Christina-Taylor Green, who was born on Sept. 11, 2001, was one of six people killed when Jared Loughner, 22, allegedly opened fire at a "Congress on Your Corner" event at a Tucson Safeway grocery store.  She was waiting to meet Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords of Arizona when she was shot.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Saturday
Jan152011

Youngest Tucson Shooting Victim's Organs Donated to Boston Girl

Photo Courtesy - Mamta Popat, pool photo.(TUCSON, Ariz.) -- The little girl who died last week with five other people in a hail of bullets in Tucson, Ariz., has, in death, saved at least one life.  Christina Taylor Green's father, John Green told CNN Friday that some of his daughter's organs went to "a little girl in Boston."

He said, "It was very poignant to find out.  That's what Christina was all about....It's a blessing."

Christina Taylor Green was nine years old when her life was cut short Jan. 8 outside a supermarket where she had gone to see democracy in action.  She went to meet her congresswoman, Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, who lies in a hospital in Tucson with a bullet wound in her brain.  Doctors are optimistic about Giffords' recovery but her injury is very serious.  Five people died that day with Christina.

The little girl's funeral was held on Thursday at a church filled to capacity and surrounded by mourners who could not fit inside the building.  Overhead was a flag that had flown at the World Trade Center on Sept. 11, 2001.  Christina was born on that day.

When John Green was asked if he would like to meet the little girl who had received some of Christina's organs, should that girl be willing, he said, "Oh yes, and I'd give her a big hug."

Jared Lee Loughner, 22, is charged in the shooting.  He is behind bars facing multiple federal charges.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Jan132011

Christina Taylor Green's Casket Passes Under 9/11 Flag at Funeral

Photo Courtesy - Mamta Popat | Pool(TUCSON, Ariz.) --The casket of nine-year-old Christina Taylor Green was carried underneath a flag that flew at the World Trade Center on 9/11 and into a Tucson church Thursday, a tribute to a young girl who was born on the day the Twin Towers fell and died in another tragedy outside of an Arizona supermarket.

Green's family members met the casket and solemnly escorted it into the St. Elizabeth-Ann Seton Catholic Church for the afternoon funeral, the first funeral service for one of the six people who lost their lives last Saturday morning.

Representatives from the New York City Fire Department brought the 9/11 flag to Arizona for the service, where it was hung from two Tucson Fire Department ladder trucks. The enormous banner includes the remnants of a 30-foot American flag that survived the 2001 terror attack.

The church was filled with mourners paying their respects to the young girl who whose life was cut short as she stood waiting to meet Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, D-Ariz. The husband of the severely wounded Giffords, Astronaut Mark Kelley, was on hand for the service, as were some of Green's friends and classmates.

Christina Taylor Green was the youngest of all the victims of the shooting rampage in Tucson last weekend.

The nine-year-old, who was born on 9/11, had been recently elected a member of her elementary school's student council and was intensely interested in politics.

President Barack Obama spoke about the third-grader at a memorial service in Tucson on Wednesday night. "I want us to live up to her expectations. I want our democracy to be as good as she imagined it," Obama said.

Her classmates from Mesa Verde Elementary School left handwritten messages alongside colorful ribbons, candles and flowers placed at the chain link fence near their playground.

School officials said crisis teams would be at the school for "many days...as long as we need to be here."

Many of Christina Taylor Green's classmates were expected to attend the funeral, which grief experts say can be important, as long as they are prepared and a loved one goes with them.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Jan122011

Arizona Lawmakers Stop Westboro Protestors

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(TUCSON, Ariz.) -- Arizona lawmakers successfully curbed members of the Westboro Baptist church from picketing the funeral of the Tucson massacre's youngest victim, Christina-Taylor Green.

On Tuesday afternoon, Gov. Jan Brewer signed a new law that requires protesters to remain 300 feet from a funeral site. The law, which took effect immediately after it was signed, took only 90 minutes to pass in Arizona's legislature. Triggered by Westboro's plans to picket the funeral of nine-year-old Christina-Taylor on Thursday, the law passed by a unanimous vote.

The law assures that "the victims of Saturday's tragic shooting in Tucson will be laid to rest in peace with the full dignity and respect that they deserve," Brewer said in a statement. She praised lawmakers for "a remarkable spirit of unity and togetherness."

Westboro Baptist Church, based in Topeka, Kan., is the offshoot group of fundamentalist pastor Fred Phelps. It frequently pickets soldiers' funerals, political rallies and gay rights gatherings. Church members have long said they're exercising their First Amendment rights.

The group still plans to picket Friday's funeral of U.S. District Judge John Roll, and at the intersection where Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and 18 others were shot. Six people died when a gunman attempting to assassinate Giffords went on a shooting rampage at political gathering outside a Tucson grocery store.

Arizona State Rep. Kyrsten Sinema drafted the legislation that requires the Westboro protestors to stay 300 feet away from a funeral from an hour before it starts until an hour after it ends, ABC Affiliate KNXV reported Tuesday. "I'm a strong advocate of the First Amendment, and the bottom line is this, Fred Phelps and his group of people can still spew their hate if they want. They just don't get to do it close to the families that are grieving. They have to be farther away," Sinema told KNXV.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Jan112011

Tucson Shooting: 'Divine Guard' to Counter Westboro Protesters

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(TUCSON, Ariz.) -- When Christin Gilmer learned that members of the Westboro Baptist Church planned to protest the funeral of Christina Taylor Green, the youngest victim in the Tucson, Ariz. massacre, she took action, enlisting a "divine guard" to buffer the picket signs.

"How dare you come with your hateful message when we're in mourning," Gilmer said. "Nobody comes into our beautiful town and tries to spew hate at the celebration and memorial of someone's life."

The Westboro Baptist Church, based in Topeka, Kan., is the offshoot group of fundamentalist pastor Fred Phelps. It frequently pickets soldiers' funerals, political rallies and gay rights gatherings. Church members have long said they're exercising their First Amendment rights.

"However many are dead, Westboro Baptist Church will picket their funerals," said Phelps in a video on the church's website. "We will remind the living that you can still repent and obey. This is ultimatum time with God."

Green, who was nine years old, was allegedly gunned down by 22-year-old Jared Loughner, the man accused of spraying bullets at a political gathering in Tucson that left Democratic Rep. Gabrielle Giffords fighting for her life.

Gilmer, 26, knew Gabriel Zimmerman, Giffords' staff member who died in the rampage, and was nauseated when she learned of his death.

"I was in shock and just kept crying and crying," Gilmer said. But she took action, sending a Facebook message to 90 of her friends Sunday. The message spread to thousands of others, and hundreds volunteered to help and donate money to the "divine guard."

"We're hoping to have people dressed in white, lining the streets to show a brightness and hope, to show Christina's family and Tucson that we love you...and we support them," Gilmer said.

Christina's mother, Roxanne Green, did not want to comment about the possibility of protesters at her daughter's funeral, saying she was overwhelmed by just having to plan it.

Of the more than 200 people donning white, 30 people will wear angel wings with the idea of blocking the Westboro protesters' signs.

"It's going to be a silent, counter protest. It's not about us. It's about protecting the family," Gilmer said.

But if Arizona lawmakers have their way, neither the "divine guard" nor their wings will be necessary.

Arizona State Rep. Kyrsten Sinema has drafted legislation that would require the Westboro protestors to stay 300 feet away from the funeral from an hour before it starts until an hour after it ends, ABC affiliate KNXV reported. "I'm a strong advocate of the First Amendment, and the bottom line is this, Fred Phelps and his group of people can still spew their hate if they want. They just don't get to do it close to the families that are grieving. They have to be farther away," Sinema told KNXV.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Jan112011

Tucson Shooting: Woman Who Brought Slain 9-Year-Old Screams in Sleep

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(TUCSON, Ariz.) -- The woman who brought 9-year-old Christina-Taylor Green to the event where she was fatally shot has been screaming out from her hospital bed, "Christina! Christina! Let's get out of here!"

Suzie Heilman, who is recovering from multiple gunshot wounds, had been holding hands with Christina-Taylor as they waited in line to meet Rep. Gabrielle Giffords Saturday when alleged gunman Jared Loughner opened fire, husband Bill Heilman said.

"Suzie had been looking for an event they could share together.... Gabby's event made all kinds of sense...it was a magnificent chance to provide a positive female role model for little Christina."

Heilman was one of more than 20 people shot during Saturday's massacre, and Christina-Taylor is one of six who died. Giffords is believed to have been the target of the shooting.

Heilman said his wife's account of what happened during the shooting is not all coherent because she is under a "morphine-induced haze" as she heals from three gunshot wounds.

Christina-Taylor had recently been elected a member of her elementary school's student council and had an intense interest in politics. Her mother, Roxanna Green, told ABC News that her daughter was excited to go to the event because she wanted to "learn more about the political process."

Heilman, who has been friends with the Green family for more than four years and considered Christina-Taylor and her brother, Dallas, to be their unofficial grandchildren, said the first thing his wife asked when she was able to talk was, "What happened to Christina?"

Suzie Heilman is expected to make a full recovery.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Monday
Jan102011

9/11 Baby Among Those Killed in Tucson

John and Roxanna Green are mourning the death of their 9-year-old daughter Christina-Taylor. Photo Courtesy - ABC News(TUCSON, Ariz.) -- At just 9 years old, Christina-Taylor Green already had big plans to one day serve her country.

Christina-Taylor, who was the youngest of the six victims shot and killed Saturday during the shooting spree outside a Tucson, Ariz., grocery store, had gone to Rep. Gabrielle Giffords' political event to "learn more about politics," according to her mother, Roxanna Green.

"As young as she was, Christina-Taylor talked about getting all the parties to come together so we could live in a better country," Green told ABC News.  "She was going to Giffords' event to ask questions about how she could help and to learn more about politics in our country."

Christina-Taylor, the granddaughter of former Phillies manager Dallas Green, was taken to Giffords' informal town hall meeting by a neighbor who was considered her pseudo-aunt, said her mother.

She died on the scene from a single bullet wound to her chest when alleged gunman Jared Loughner opened fire, shooting a total of 20 people.

Christina-Taylor was born on September 11th, 2001 had used her birthdate as a source of inspiration during her short life.  She was featured in a book about babies born on 9/11 called "Faces of Hope."

"She was very interested in politics since she was a little girl," Green said.  "I think that being born on 9/11 had a lot to do with that."

"She always thought about how she was born on 9/11, and she saw the positive in it," Green said.  "She thought of it as a day of hope and change, a chance for the country to come together to be united."

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio







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