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'Christina's Park'

In memory of Christina-Taylor Green

  • There was such speed in her little body,
  • And such lightness in her footfall,
  • It is no wonder her brown study
  • Astonishes us all.
  • —John Crowe Ransom
  • "Bells for John Whiteside's Daughter"

I need the soul and words of a poet to tell of the grief I feel for Christina-Taylor Green, a nine-year-old girl I never met.

Christina was the youngest of six people killed in the Jan. 8 shooting rampage that also left 13 others wounded, including U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords.

Gabby, who represents Arizona's 8th congressional district where I live, is recovering in a Houston hospital, smiling, singing, speaking single words. Miraculously, she is healing from a bullet wound through the left side of her brain.

There was no miracle for Christina.

Born on a day of horrific national tragedy, Sept. 11, 2001, Christina was fatally shot on another tragic day as she waited outside a grocery store to meet her congresswoman.

She was a third-grade student leader at her school, a choir member at her church, and the only girl on her Little League baseball team. So much promise, until a gunman's senseless bullet stole it all away from her. Stole it from her family, and from all of us.

I am sorry beyond words for the deaths and injuries of all the adults caught up in that day of gunfire in Tucson, but I still grieve for this little girl. I think of my own two grandkids, not much younger than Christina. Actually tear up when I think of her, of the tragic ending of her life.

On Monday, Feb. 28, they renamed a northwest-side park where Christina used to play. The new, official name of the park, "Canada del Oro Christina-Taylor Green Memorial River Park," has as many words as poor Christina had years.

Thanks to our donors and sponsors for their support of local independent reporting. Join Gawain Lavers, Jake Jacob, and Esther Brilliant and contribute today!

To residents of the area, it'll simply be "Christina's Park."

Originally posted at witsendmagazine.com.


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