January 13th, 2011
11:23 AM ET

Memorial to honor youngest victim of Arizona mass shootings

CNN Wire Staff

Tucson, Arizona (CNN) - A memorial on Thursday will honor the youngest victim of the Arizona mass shooting, a 9-year-old dancer and swimmer whose untimely death has broken hearts nationwide.

Six people were killed and 13 others wounded when a gunman opened fire Saturday at Rep. Gabrielle Giffords' meet-and-greet event in Tucson. Giffords was among the injured.

The youngest victim, Christina Green, was born on September 11, 2001. Christina had just been elected to the student council at her elementary school, and was attending the event with a neighbor. She was there to meet the lawmaker when the gunman struck.

The neighbor, Suzi Hileman, was shot three times and is recovering, but is struggling emotionally with the girl's death, relatives said.

Christina entered the world "on a tragic day and she went out on a tragic day," said her father, John Green. "There's going to be a lot of those kind of moments that - I had one this morning, just waking up. She comes up and says, 'Daddy, it's time to get up.' She didn't do that this morning."

Obama eulogized the victims at a service at the University of of Arizona Wednesday night. He paid special attention to the young girl whose life was cut short.

"In Christina we see all of our children. So curious, so trusting, so energetic, so full of magic. So deserving of our love. And so deserving of our good example," Obama said.

"Christina was an A student; she was a dancer; she was a gymnast; she was a swimmer. She decided that she wanted to be the first woman to play in the Major Leagues, and as the only girl on her Little League team, no one put it past her."

The president said she had a unique appreciation for life.

"She'd remind her mother, 'We are so blessed. We have the best life,' " the president said. "And she'd pay those blessings back by participating in a charity that helped children who were less fortunate."

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soundoff (6 Responses)
  1. Nina

    Good Evening Anderson and other bloggers

    Very sad regarding the death of Christina Green.

    January 13, 2011 at 10:02 pm |
  2. Mikecimerian

    The talk about this child' murder bringing people together awakens the specter of human sacrifice.

    If it takes a statue of Moloch on Capitol Hill then the US has fallen to it's lowest point.

    January 13, 2011 at 7:58 pm |
  3. Mary McGurk

    The United States of America is so blessed to have a president who can speak to the tragedy in such an eloquent and unifying manner. He captured the emotions of the people of Arizona and, by extension America, in a brilliant, non-partisan speech.

    His words have touched so many people in so many countries. At a time when we are at each other's throats, Mr. Obama has expressed the thoughts of every citizen of the world. As President Obama once said in relation to another matter: 'I don't care whether you're driving a hybrid or an SUV. If you're headed for a cliff, you have to change direction.' The world has to change direction.

    To quote another one of Mr. Obama's previous speeches: 'Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time. We are the ones we've been waiting for. We are the change that we seek. '

    Let's change. It's that simple!

    Toronto, Ontario

    January 13, 2011 at 3:06 pm |
  4. Moore, Baltimore

    Pleas remind Mr. Gergen that
    we must not forget the moment was a "celebration of life" not a funeral. The eulogy and burial is still yet to come. However, Obama was there to celebrate the dreams, and accomplishments of the fallen as well as the heroes. The Arizona region, itself, was in need of a lift out of the dark gloomy deep. Obama's well chosen words gave it to them.

    January 13, 2011 at 2:10 pm |
  5. Michael R. Moser

    I, like many, was at first troubled by the pep rally atmosphere of the program in Tucson last night. However, I made myself stop and remember that this was a college program and a campus function and if this is how the students and the community needed to mend, who am I to criticize that. Contrary to some of your guests last night, I really believe the speech was President Obama's finest moment...and in Sarah Palin's rush to upstage the President, I think it was one of her worst moments. She read like a robot, no emotion or compassion in her words or her expression. It was all about poor me...that is why she is not a leader...

    January 13, 2011 at 1:26 pm |
  6. Gene Steiker

    Switched the channel after watching some of your coverage of President Obama's speech in Tuscon. The "expert" comments were juvenile - purely petty politics. When you brought Sarah Palin on, it was to much to bear. Your ratings belong where they are, in the toilet. I will find my news elsewhere in the future.

    January 13, 2011 at 12:43 pm |