TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) - Christina-Taylor Green was nine years old when she was fatally shot on January 8. She would have celebrated her 12th birthday this Wednesday.
The Green family and community came together for a special birthday mass Sunday at St. Odilia's Catholic Church. Through song and prayer, they celebrated her life.
Christina was born on September 11, 2001: A day stained in tragedy for the nation. For her family, it's a day to remember their little girl.
"We try to put our gameface on that day, but Christina's always on the back of our mind," her father John Green said.
"There's no pain that hurtful as losing a child, but also we're so grateful for the nine years we had with her," her mother Roxanna Green said.
Though she was young, her parents say Christina understood the significance of her birthday, and would always dress up in red, white and blue.
"Although she realized it was a horrible day in history, she just looked ahead to 9/12 and the future that would always be a day of hope," Roxanna Green said.
Just as the nation came together after 9/11, January 8 brought the Tucson community together. Memorials and foundations have been built to honor the lives that were lost.
The next tribute will be a life-size statue of Christina with Jesus looking over the healing garden at St. Odilia's. There will be a dedication ceremony for the statue October 6.