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 among 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 American civics began early.
“She was born back eas,t and Sept. 11 affected everyone there, and Christina-Taylor was always very aware of it,” her mother, Roxanna Green, told the Arizona Daily Star. “She was very patriotic, and wearing red, white and blue was really special to her.”
DeKnikker said she was a leader in her classroom at Mesa Verde Elementary school, helping other students and contributing to discussions.
“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. “We will all miss her terribly.”
School officials said there will be counselors early Monday morning for students and staff.
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 and her grandfather, Dallas Green, is a former major league pitcher and manager. The elder Green managed the Philadephia Phillies from 1979 to 1981, winning a World Series title in 1980. He went on to manage the Yankees and the Mets.
Christina had one sibling 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’s Catholic Church in Tucson, Catholic Diocese of Tucson officials told the Arizona Daily Star.
“She was real special and real sweet, ”her uncle Greg Segalini told the Arizona Republic.
The girl was already aware of the “inequalities” of the world, Roxanna Green said. Christina often repeated the same phrase to her mother: “We are so blessed. We have the best life.”
Staff researchers Madonna Lebling and Lucy Shackelford and staff writers Lisa Rein, Paul Kane and Jerry Markon contributed to this report.