Tucson shooting victim memorialized at Little League field

You think of Christina-Taylor Green when you see the patch of dirt where she scooped grounders at second base in Canyon del Oro Little League. You think of the youngest victim of the shootings in Tucson, Ariz., when you see the batter's box where she knocked line drives.

And you think of her when you see the 9-foot, 11-inch silver statue of an angel just beyond the outfield fence.

"It's going to serve as a daily reminder to us that we had the privilege of knowing Christina," said John Ward, who coached her for two years.

The statue was unveiled before the Little League season opener Friday evening, with Christina-Taylor's mother, father and brother present.

"It was very moving and touching for us both," Roxanna Green said. We're very proud and honored and pleased."

"We're very grateful that Christina meant as much to her community as she did to us," John Green said.

The angel's hand extends out, its robes appearing to blow in the wind. It is intended to be a symbol of peace after the Jan. 8 shooting that killed five others and wounded 13, including Rep. Gabrielle Giffords.

The statue's height holds added significance because the numbers 9 and 11 are prominent in Christina-Taylor's life. She was born on Sept. 11, 2001 — the day of the terrorist attacks — and was featured in a book about other children born that day.

Besides a 5 ½-foot long fragment of an I-beam from ground zero, the Freedom's Steadfast Angel of Love also incorporates a 3 ½-foot-long piece of steel from the Pentagon and a large rock from the Flight 93 crash site, sculptor Lei Hennessy-Owen said.

"It's beautiful," said shooting victim Susan Hileman, 59, who was holding Christina-Taylor's hand when a gunman opened fire at a meet and greet held by Giffords outside a supermarket.

The field where Christina-Taylor played for the Pirates will be renamed Green Field in her memory.

Tucson shooting victim memorialized at Little League field 04/01/11 [Last modified: Friday, April 1, 2011 11:29pm]

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