Today is, of course, the tenth anniversary of the terrorist attacks in New York and Washington, DC which destroyed the World Trade Center and part of the Pentagon. I considered finding a work of art that featured a girl standing in front of the WTC, but I decided to approach this from another angle, by celebrating the life of a girl who had a slightly different connection to the event but whose end was no less tragic. Her name is Christina Taylor Green and she was born on September 11th, 2001, only to be murdered in the horrific shooting in Tucson, Arizona in January of this year, when a lunatic opened fire at a speaking event featuring Democratic representative Gabrielle Giffords.
Because of her birthday Christina was one of many babies featured in the book Faces of Hope (hence the title of this post). By all accounts she was an amazing girl who was fascinated by politics. Thus, when a neighbor agreed to take the nine-year-old girl to see the congresswoman speak, she was very excited. She had recently been elected to the student council at her elementary school. But she was also interested in things many girls her age were interested in: swimming, ballet and horses. Moreover, she was the only girl on an otherwise all-boy baseball team. In other words, Christina, with her big chocolate eyes and cherubic smile, was a true all-American girl.
Christina’s image appears on page 42 of Faces of Hope. If you’re a fan of Douglas Adams, you’ll know the significance of the number 42: it’s the answer to the ultimate question of life, the universe, and everything. However, the joke is that the actual question to which this number is the answer is unknown (and probably unknowable). I don’t mean to imply that Christina’s life was a joke; far from it. I simply wish to point out that, if there is some ultimate reason why tragic things happen, why humans are born seemingly to suffer, then we are not privy to it. I think the best we can do when facing situations like this is realize that ultimately all we have is each other, and that is the best reason to set aside our differences, to try and make this a better, safer, less violent and more tolerant world.
RIP Christina Taylor Green
From V.E.G. on June 28, 2012
There is another version like Christina Taylor Green: Scott Calvin Dieter. He was the adoptive son of former United States Army Captain Craig Brian Eric and Beth Ann (Laufer) Dieter. Scott was born in Russia and was shot dead by the gunman and the gunman himself was shot to death (justifiable homicide) by Officer Ben A. Campbell. Campbell said, “I am not a hero. I am just a policeman.”