2,000 Mourners turned out on Wednesday to pay their respects to Christina Taylor Green. The 9 year old was tragically killed last weekend by Jared Loughner as he mercilessly killed 6 people and injured 18 more, including Gabrielle Giffords.
The bubbly 9-year-old was the youngest victim of the Arizona shootings, and perhaps embodies the sentiments given by President Obama in his speech, the higher angels of which he spoke so passionately.
Christina was the first Tucson victim to be laid to rest, and 5 more services follow over the coming days, today being that of US District Judge John Roll, at the same church, St. Elizabeth Ann Seton.
John Roll had served for nearly 40 years as a judge, and decided to stop by the meet-and-greet for the Democratic Rep. Gabrielle Giffords. Giffords hailed the event as ‘congress on your corner.’
Giffords herself was gravely injured during the shooting, receiving a bullet to her head for her troubles. She currently lies in hospital in a drug induced coma, although doctors are confident that she will make a good recovery.
Christina Taylor Green was born on September 11th, 2001, one of the darkest days in our planet’s history, although not for her parents. The tragedy of it all is that she came into this world during a day of such horrific events, and left it the victim of equally horrific circumstances.
Today is not a day to connect the political dots that led to this tragedy; enough squabbling has been done in the name of patriotism, dedication and devotion to a ‘side’ already. Indeed Obama himself recognised as much, evidenced by the words he delivered at the Tucson memorial.
Before the service began, family and closest friends stood holding hands beneath an enormous American flag recovered from Ground Zero, where they held a moment of silence to reflect.
As they then made their way inside, mourners remained outside and lined both sides of the street, stretching some quarter of a mile. Some dressed as angels, while others placed candles along the roadside – they came to show their support; their unity.
“She would want to say to us today, ‘Enjoy life,'” said Bishop Gerald Kicanas, who presided over the funeral. “She would want to say to us today, ‘God has loved me so much. He has put his hand on me and prepared a place for me.'”
“Her time to be born was Sept. 11, 2001,” he continued. “Her time to die was the tragic day, Jan. 8, 2011, just nine years old she was. But she has found her dwelling place in God’s mansion. She went home.”
John Green, her father, recalled stories of his beloved daughter picking blueberries and snorkelling, and how she used to play with her cousins and brother in the garden.
“Christina Taylor Green, I can’t tell you how much we all miss you,” her father said. “I think you have affected the whole country.”
Not just the whole country. The waves of this tragedy have crashed upon shores all around the world leaving an indelible high water mark, there to remind us how fragile our lives truly are. As with so many tragedies past, there emerges the hope that some light will shine on all of this and that differences can be put aside more readily.
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images: wizbangblog.com, yahoo.com