by Jaimee Rose - Jan. 14, 2011 12:00 AM
The Arizona Republic
The Arizona Republic
Christina-Taylor Green helps others through organ donation
Her story has been adopted by the nation, a 9-year-old life celebrated by President Barack Obama as a symbol of American hope; but on Thursday afternoon, in a quiet desert church filled with mourners and a too-small casket, her story belonged to her dad.
A calm John Green stood before nearly 1,700 people and talked about the sweet, sassy life of his little girl, Christina-Taylor Green, killed in the massacre near Tucson on Saturday.
Christina-Taylor liked to pick blackberries and hit baseballs and dance around the house to loud music with her mother to welcome him home from business trips, said Green, a scout for the Los Angeles Dodgers.
She was precocious and tenacious and is probably giving someone directions in heaven right now, he said.
Sometimes, Green smiled while he spoke; sometimes, his voice shook, and sometimes he talked directly to Christina-Taylor's red-oak casket.
"I can't tell you how much we miss you," he said. "I think you affected the whole country."
Christina-Taylor was born on Sept. 11, 2001, and liked to think of herself as something good that came into the world that awful day.
Mourners entered her funeral beneath a billowing tribute: the National 9/11 Flag, a 45-pound patchwork of tattered fabric rescued from the collapse of the Twin Towers. The 20- by 30-foot banner soared over the sidewalk between the outstretched ladders of two fire engines and was hand-carried by a New York firefighter to Tucson to honor Christina-Taylor and her ideals.
When the hearse arrived, Christina-Taylor's parents and brother greeted her casket beneath the flag, held hands and followed it inside the church. Other family members trailed behind them. Senators and strangers and all the boys on Christina-Taylor's baseball team came to pay their respects.
Christina-Taylor was one of the team's best batters, said teammate Kirby Chrantz, 10, who left the funeral feeling upset and confused and thinking of the girl who always told the team, "'We can do it.'"
The congregation included Mark Kelly, husband of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords; Sens. John McCain and Jon Kyl; and baseball greats including Ryne Sandberg and Pat Gillick.
The first firefighters and paramedics who treated Christina-Taylor outside the grocery store were also there.
The Most Rev. Gerald Kicanas, bishop of Tucson, gave a personalized homily and was the only speaker besides Christina-Taylor's father.
Kicanas told the congregation that Christina-Taylor's organs were donated. A friend helping the Green family said they received a call earlier from an organ-donation network, telling them that the girl's donation had already saved the life of a child on the East Coast.
Read more: http://www.azcentral.com/news/articles/2011/01/13/20110113arizona-shootings-funeral-for-christina-green.html#ixzz1B1Ygm1d