On Friday April 1, 2011, the Freedom’s Steadfast Angel of Love statue to honor the memory of Christina-Taylor-Green was unveiled at the Little League field where Christina played. The 9-foot, 11-inch statue stands just beyond the outfield fence.
John Ward, Christina’s coach, said, “It’s going to serve as a daily reminder to us that we had the privilege of knowing Christina.” On the Pirates Canyon del Oro team, Christina, Number 12, was the only female player. One of her dreams was to be the first woman Major League Baseball player.
Lei Hennessy-Owen is the artist who began creating angel statues after the September 11, 2001 attacks. Since Christina-Taylor Green was born on the same day, Ms. Owen felt this was a fitting tribute to the youngest victim of the January 8 Tucson shooting rampage.
Besides a 5½-foot long fragment of an I-beam from ground zero, the Freedom’s Steadfast Angel of Love also incorporates a 3½-foot-long piece of steel from the Pentagon and a large rock from the Flight 93 crash site, sculptor Lei Hennessy-Owen said. The angel represents a symbol of peace and hope.
“Having this angel here is just a reminder for kids to say I can still carry that passion,” said Oro Valley Mayor Dr. Satish Hiremath.
“Remembering her, remembering what she stood for and what she did with her brief life, hopefully that will inspire a lot of other children and adults to do the good things that she was trying to do,” said Canyon Del Oro Little League President Clyde Turpin.
The unveiling of the statue on late Friday afternoon meant a lot to the Green family, Christina’s teammates and friends as well as the people of Tucson. The statue is a unique creation of materials from the three 9-11 sites.
The best memorial, tribute, honor which we can give Christina is to bring to an end the senseless violence which plagues this planet traversing the cosmos. Too many children die each day from violence in our communities, villages, hamlets, and cities.
Christina had dreams and hopes. Those dreams and hopes ended on that tragic day in January. The 9-year-old deserved better than to be gunned down in a meaningless act of cold-blooded murder.
Let’s work together to bring change in our communities where children and adults can attend public events without fear; where neighborhoods can be safe for children to play and where the elderly can walk unmolested by thugs.
It is within our power to make our part of this earth safe for all. It takes getting involved and standing up for what is right and decent in life.
G. D. Williams © 2011