Born on Sept. 11, Claimed by a New Horror
By JOSEPH BERGER
Published: January 9, 2011
Christina Green was on the student council of her elementary school, so on Saturday her mother’s friend thought she might enjoy seeing government in action: the local congresswoman meeting with constituents outside a supermarket near Christina’s home.
“I allowed her to go, thinking it would be an innocent thing,” said the girl’s mother, Roxanna Green, 45.
It did not turn out that way. A gunman shot Representative Gabrielle Giffords, leaving her in critical condition, and his fusillade killed six people, including Christina, a 9-year-old who loved animals and volunteered at a children’s charity.
She was born on Sept. 11, 2001, and she was proud of it, her mother said, because it lent a grace note of hope to that terrible day.
“It was an emotional time for everyone in the family, but Christina’s birth was a happy event and made the day bittersweet,” her mother said in a telephone interview from their Tucson home.
Christina, who was born when the family was living in West Grove, Pa., was one of the 50 “Faces of Hope” representing children from 50 states who were born on Sept. 11. Their images were printed in a book, with some of the proceeds going to a Sept. 11 charity.
“From the very beginning, she was an amazing child,” her mother said. “She was very bright, very mature, off the charts. She was the brightest thing that happened that day."
Her mother, who grew up as Roxanna Segalini in the Bronx and Scarsdale, N.Y., is a registered nurse and has been a stay-at-home mother to Christina and her 11-year-old brother, Dallas.
Christina’s father, John Green, is a supervising scout for the Los Angeles Dodgers. Her grandfather, Dallas Green, managed the Philadelphia Phillies to the 1980 World Series championship and also managed the Yankees and the Mets.
Christina, an A student, was interested in politics, so her mother accepted the offer by her friend Susan Hileman to take Christina to the congresswoman’s constituent meeting. John Green told The Arizona Star that Christina was such a good speaker that he “could have easily seen her as a politician.”
But Christina also seems to have inherited her family’s baseball genes. She was on a Little League baseball team, its only girl, her mother said.
“She was an athlete, a good dancer, a good gymnast, a good swimmer,” her mother said. “She belonged to Kids Helping Kids charity and tried to help children less fortunate.”
Christina, a slender girl with brownish-blond hair, brown eyes and a gentle smile, also sang in the choir at St. Odilia Roman Catholic Church.
In an interview with Fox News, Mrs. Green explained how, in a call from her friend’s husband, she learned that her daughter had been injured and was at the University Medical Center in Tucson.
“I grabbed my son and called my husband — he wasn’t at home — and we all just rushed over there,” Mrs. Green said.
“We waited for a while, and then the surgeon and people from the I.C.U. unit came in and police officers and other people, and they told us the bad news,” she said. “She had a bullet hole to the chest, and they tried to save her, but she just couldn’t make it. It was really, really bad.”
Mrs. Green said that she hoped that Christina’s death would bring not only justice in the jailing of her attacker but also a national awareness of the cost of a venomous political dialogue.
“I think there’s been a lot of hatred going,” she said, “and it needs to stop.”