Funeral Service Held For Young Gun Victim
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Pete Norman and Lulu Sinclair, Sky News Online
The funeral for nine-year-old Christina-Taylor Green who was one of six people killed during a gun attack in Tucson has been held in the city.
The nine-year-old was born on 9/11, the day the twin towers were attacked
Her small wood coffin was wheeled out of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton church by her grieving and tearful family, and escorted by four officers in ceremonial uniforms.
Around 90 minutes earlier the coffin had been wheeled inside for the service, which was also attended by Mark Kelly, the husband of the Congresswoman shot in the attack.
Christina-Taylor Green was born on September 11, 2001, the day of the attack on the Twin Towers in New York.
The dark-haired, brown-eyed third-grader was one of 50 babies born on that date featured in a book called Faces of Hope.
As a mark of respect at the funeral, the largest flag recovered from Ground Zero after the 9/11 World Trade Center attack was earlier unfurled and raised by two fire truck crews before the funeral.
The huge flag recovered from the 9/11 attacks was hoisted aloft
The girl's family had embraced emotionally outside the church as they looked at the huge patchwork flag held aloft by the raised fire truck ladders.
Members of the public stood along the route of the hearse and flags were lowered to half-mast, for both the arrival and departure.
Some people even sprayed graffiti in honour of the young girl.
"It does say something about our society that my daughter was born on a tragic day, and she went out on a tragic day," her father John said earlier, fighting back tears.
Members of the public pay their respects as the coffin passes
Christina-Taylor was recently elected to the Mesa Verde Elementary School student council and had been interested in politics from a young age, said her father, who works as a scout for the Los Angeles Dodgers baseball team.
She had gone to a Tucson shopping mall to meet congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, who is in a critical condition after being shot in the head during the attack.
"She was a good speaker. I could have easily seen her as a politician," he said.
Christina-Taylor's mother Roxanna said the girl also enjoyed singing in a choir at St. Odilia Roman Catholic church and earlier last year received her first Holy Communion.
School students take a photo near graffiti honouring the girl
Mrs Green said: "She was all about helping people, and being involved. It's so tragic.
"She went to learn and then someone with so much hatred in their heart took the lives of innocent people."
Christina-Taylor had an 11-year-old brother named Dallas, with whom she loved to go swimming, the mother added.
Her father also talked of the last time he saw his daughter on Saturday morning, just before she left for the political event in the Arizona city.
Christina-Taylor with her parents and older brother Dallas
"We made breakfast and said goodbye, saying, 'I love you daddy.' So beautiful - we had nine beautiful years with her."
Politicians in Arizona have approved an emergency law to stop members of a fundamentalist Kansas church from picketing the funeral service.
Members of the Westboro Baptist Church had declared their plan to picket the service because ''God sent the shooter to deal with idolatrous America''.
But a spokesman said church members would not protest at the funeral in exchange for airtime on two radio stations.
We made breakfast and said goodbye, saying: 'I love you daddy.' So beautiful - we had nine beautiful years with her.
John Green, father
Church founder Fred Phelps had declared "God hates Catholics".
Meanwhile, Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, continues to make recovery after being shot in the head.
Giffords, 40, is moving both legs and both arms, has opened both eyes and is responding to friends and family, doctors said.
What a sad story. Honestly the evil in this world depresses me more than you can imagine. A beautiful child taken by an idiot.
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