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Bikers Protect Procession Of Tuscon's Youngest Victim

Bikers Protect Procession Of Tuscon's Youngest Victim

Lindsey Lummus (C), 10, wearing an angels wings, watches as the funeral hearse carrying the casket of nine-year-old Christina Taylor Green arrives at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Church, Thursday [AP]

San Jose Mercury News via YellowBrix

January 14, 2011

TUSCON – Mourners at the funeral of Christina-Taylor Green were greeted by more than a thousand sympathizers who lined North Shannon Road for a quarter-mile south of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Church.

Many wore white, and many had responded to an Internet call to counter the possible appearance of an out-of-state hate group.

They arrived on nearly 200 motorcycles, on foot and on shuttle buses from area parking lots, some prompted into action by the anticipated presence of a group from Kansas that protests funerals of veterans and gay people. The group ended up not showing.

Many of the sympathizers who showed up wore white and stood quietly on either side of Shannon Road. Among them were 18 “angels” with giant wings made from plastic pipe and bedsheets, who stood side by side in silence less than a block from the church for an hour and a half.

Behind them, graffiti on a subdivision’s block wall read: “Christina” and “Stop the Hate.”

In the church parking lot, several firefighters and soldiers stood between two fire-ladder trucks, to hoist the 9/11 Flag at the church. The flag weighs 45 pounds.

The “New York Says Thank You Foundation” flew the flag to Tucson Wednesday to honor Christina-Taylor, 9, who was among six killed in Saturday’s shooting at a northwest-side Safeway. She was born on Sept. 11, 2001.

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Christina-Taylor Green

The flag was flying at 90 West Street in New York when the twin towers went down. It is the same tattered flag seen in the iconic photo of ground zero.

Pieces of retired flags from all 50 states have been used to repair the flag, which is on tour this year until the 10th anniversary of 9/11.

The flag was to be flown to Atlanta Thursday, so it will not be in Tucson today for the funeral of U.S. District Judge John M. Roll, at the same northwest-side church.

On Thursday, families holding hands, cowboy types in boots and hats, bikers in Hells Angels and Huns jackets, teens, seniors and others were there – most for the same reason: to support the Green family.

“She was such a shining little star,” Tucsonan Jean Semington said of Christina-Taylor. “It’s tragic. . . . I’ve lost a son. I know a little of the pain.”

Ten-year-old Lindsey Lummus wore white angel wings and a halo as she stood beside the street with her family.

“I came to support them,” said Lindsey, a fifth-grader at Quail Run Elementary School.

Jeanne Davis traveled from Scottsdale and carried a large sign reading: “Our thoughts & prayers are with the Green family.”

“This was such a big negative experience for Arizona,” Davis said. “We’ve got to stand together now.”

Casey Trapp and Katie Maine held white roses they said were distributed by an “unknown gentleman.”

“We wanted to be here,” Maine said. “There’s power in these numbers.”

Dennis Bennett journeyed from Phoenix with 55 fellow members of the Phoenix Motorcycle Riders Group.

“We just want to show our support,” Bennett said. “And if dummies show up, we want to stand in front of them.”

Angel Project organizer Wayne Belger said the Angels are trained to resist provocation by the hate group. Some are veterans of non-violent protest, and all were trained for this deployment in a role-playing session Wednesday night. The Angels surround the hate group with their wings so that funeral-goers do not have to see the signs being carried – usually stating that the deaths are God’s punishment for homosexuality.

One of the angels, Ralph Alter, said: “I had to do something, and this seemed like a good way to take positive action.”

Alter, who said he has a transgender son and many gay friends, said it was also “something I can do for them, too.”

Another Angel organizer, Christin Gilmer, was dressed in white but did not don angel wings. The group discourages people with personal connections to a funeral from doing so, she said.

“I knew Gabe (Zimmerman, a victim). We were very involved in similar causes.”

Gilmer also worked on Rep. Gabrielle Giffords’ campaigns and knew shooting victim Dorwan Stoddard through volunteer activities. “He was very sweet,” she said.

After the funeral began, the 18 angels turned and walked north, wings outstretched, along a dirt path next to the road.

They were headed to a nearby home where a resident told them they could store their wings until today’s funeral at the same church for Judge Roll.


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  • N1023300020_30025442_7610_max50

    KAICHARESE

    about 3 years ago

    2780 Comments

    so glad the hate group didnt show, rip little one

  • Snoopy_6_max50

    Jonas

    over 3 years ago

    41144 Comments

    That wackjob "irreligous" group is gonna get what it deserves. and bump rsironron.

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    SuzanneNGa

    over 3 years ago

    16580 Comments

    Good thing that ridiculous "religious" group didn't show. God bless the ones that were there to protect Christina. May she rest in peace.

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    USLawman1983

    over 3 years ago

    1572 Comments

    Bump AshleyG15.
    Hard to look at Christina's photo and not get emotional. As sworn law enforcers, we have to be more focused and viligant than ever before. The climate in our country is unsettling right now. God bless the victims of the Tuscon shooting.

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    AshleyG15

    over 3 years ago

    86 Comments

    Every time I see her picture, I have to fight back the tears. Life seems so unfair sometimes but I know God has a purpose for everything. I know from experience. I am so glad that the protesters didn't show up.

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    MeanStreets949

    over 3 years ago

    2318 Comments

    Positive things do come out of tragedy. Christina was one of them on 9-11. I'm sure something good will come out of this. God bless everyone who shares the grief of this event but celebrates the life of this girl who was so involved.

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    sheriff950

    over 3 years ago

    5370 Comments

    How sad, this little girl came into this world on a tragic day and she left it on a tragic day... I have no doubt she is an Angel with God watching down on all of us... Rest in peace little Angel and my thoughts and prayers go out to your family and friends... Many thanks and may God bless those that came to support and keep this event safe...

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    DALLASCRANE

    over 3 years ago

    19386 Comments

    My head is bowed, my heart is heavy. God Bless Christina and God Bless the USA. Heaven needed another flower in the garden around His Throne. Please don't be angry for God needed me back home................

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    KMueller

    over 3 years ago

    254 Comments

    RIP, LITTLE ANGEL.Sad this country has come to that point! But Awesome job to the Bikers and people that come out to support this lil angel. My smypathy to this girls family for their lose. Now she is with God.

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    rsironron

    over 3 years ago

    5220 Comments

    My hats off to the ones that came out to protect this little girl, Rest in Peace little one.

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    regor

    over 3 years ago

    2 Comments

    RIP CHRISTINA, family and friends will take care of mommy, and daddy. You just hold GODS hand and keep him company.

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    denise65

    over 3 years ago

    2674 Comments

    Christina I have no doubt in my heart you are with God. We are of the same faith. You are one of God's Angels and I know he must have needed you with him. I know God has many good things in store for you. I believe that you will continue you to what you loved here on Earth in Heaven.

    To your Mommy, Daddy, and brother, you all have an Angel in heaven watching down on you for the rest of your lives. I don't know the pain of losing a child but I lost my sister. I can't be with her physically but I can be with her spiritually. That's how I am comforted. You all will be in my thoughts an prayers along with your family and friends. I know your little Christina will have everlasting life. My Catholic faith tells me so. I am very much looking forward to beginning my career in Law Enforcement. Christina will be in my heart and my driving force to be successful in my career. May God comfort you all during this very tragic time. You're faith will get you through as mine does every day for the past 5 years after losing my sister Karen.

    Thank you to all the groups who protected this funeral and others. God Bless you all!!

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    Anonymous

    over 3 years ago

    Many thanks to those who came out to protect this little girl.

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    DDemlong

    over 3 years ago

    2238 Comments

    very tragic victim, every loss of life was horrible but an 9 year old just makes it worse.

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    robertcan

    over 3 years ago

    44 Comments

    I've seen the so called Topeka, KS "church" in action, up close and personal. I'm glad that the good people of Arizona were ready to protect and serve. May little Christina rest in peace and may her family come to know that Christina has touched the hearts of many.

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