Bucktown school honors Tucson victim

January 14, 2011 10:11:20 AM PST
There have been both moments of sorrow and hope after the fatal Saturday shootings in Tucson, Ariz.

Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords has shown remarkable progress after surviving the shooting that killed six people. She's opened both eyes, moved both legs and arms, and responded to friends and family. Giffords suffered a gunshot wound to the head.

A funeral was set for Friday for Federal Judge John Roll, who was appointed to the bench by President George Bush Sr. in 1991. Roll was a good friend of Congresswoman Giffords and stopped by the event last week to show his support when the shooting took place.

The judge's funeral will be held in the same church where Mass was celebrated Thursday for victim Christina Taylor Green. The 9-year-old's death has sparked a movement among schoolchildren, including students in Chicago.

Many have been touched by Christina's story and are trying to figure out ways to remember her, a little girl with a big heart and a big appreciation for her country at such a young age.

On Thursday, 2,000 mourners packed an Arizona church for a funeral to say goodbye to Christina, who was born on September 11, 2001.

Students in Tucson have already started Christina's Challenge, during which they promised to recognize random acts of kindness.

The Bucktown chapter of the Chicago International Charter School has designated Friday as Christina's Day. Students recorded a song to send to students at a Christina's Arizona school as a show of support.

"I think that it's good that we all come together as a community and join in hands to make known that we do care," said student Somari Davis-El.

Six-hundred-forty-nine students at the Chicago school held a special assembly, calling it "Christina's Day" to honor the little girl with the beautiful smile who was president of her school's student council.

"I feel proud that I did something to honor her 'cause she lost her life at such a young age, and she was very patriotic. And we just had to do something, and she was a student council member, from student council to student council," said student Damion Rosa.

The Chicago Public Schools students typically wear uniforms, but Friday they donated $2 to dress down and wear red, white and blue for Christina, with the money going to her scholarship fund.

They joined voices to sing and repeat her elementary school slogan.

"CICS Bucktown can't hide that Mesa Verde Pride."

The cheer was recorded to send to Christina's classmates in show of support coming from hundreds of miles away. Karin Breo has been a teacher's aid at Chicago International Charter School for 11 years and is close friends with Christina's uncle Doug. Breo gave the student council the idea for Friday's assembly.

"I just thought that I could meet with the students and give them the opportunity to reach out to the Green family and honor Christina at her school," said Breo.

Students participating say she is an inspiration, as President Barack Obama also remembered Christina.

"She cared about other people, and I think that, like, all people should be like that," said one student.

"In Christina, we see all of our children -- so curious, so trusting, so energetic," President Obama said Wednesday.

One of the Chicago charter school's administrators is reportedly best friends with Christina's uncle.