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'Christina's Park'
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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.

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

Originally posted at witsendmagazine.com.


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