Triumph Over Tragedy

Jan 3, 2012 1:22 AM

Triumph Over Tragedy - Green and Zimmerman families speak

With the anniversary of January 8th just days away, we at News 4 Tucson wanted to take a look at how far we've come, how we have moved forward, and how our community is stronger one year later. Here is one story of many that you will see all week leading up to the anniversary. We hope that they inspire you, as much as they have us.

Also, remember to watch our half-hour special, "Triumph over Tragedy", uninterrupted on Sunday, January 8th at 5:30 p.m.

TUCSON - "I call her my beautiful little angel. Every day I talk to her, tell her I love her, and I'm going to see her someday," said Roxanna Green, the mother of Christina-Taylor Green.

If you think John and Roxanna Green, the parents of the youngest victim of January 8th, are going to feel sorry for themselves...think again.

"We're going to go through tough times, we're going to go through good times, but through those tough times if the community ignites...I think we can get through anything," said John Green.

"Our young daughter in a short 9 years, achieved more things than most adults do in a lifetime. So I think it's just a message of hope, getting involved in your community, trying to make a difference," said Roxanna.

That's the idea, moving forward, continuing Christina's legacy. She may have only been 9-years-old, but we could all learn something from her. So full of life, so caring of others around her, and if one person can make a change for the better, after reading how Christina approached every day, then her death is not in vain. That's why the Green's have decided to write a book.

"We just wanted everyone to know our story, her story. It's an inspirational story, it's not a sad story," said Roxanna.

"She's near and dear to our heart. It can be hurtful at times. But again, it's very positive," said John.

"There is nothing about the shootings that changed my perception of this world or the risks in this world and in this country," said Ross Zimmerman, father of Gabe Zimmerman, Giffords Outreach Director who was shot and killed on January 8th. "The only thing that is different is that it didn't dawn on me that it could happen to my family and to me."

Ross Zimmerman, like the Green's, also experienced what most of us never will. He buried his own child, instead of the other way around. Any parent who has experienced this, will say, it's just not supposed to happen that way. But Ross says he has come to terms with that.

Gabe was known as wise beyond his years, a level of maturity and charisma not usually seen in such a young man. His father says he often wants to be more like his son.
And if Tucson and Southern Arizona can be a little more like Gabe was, the world could be a better place.

"I think that it's in our society's enlightened self-interest to try and work together. That if we help each other we help ourselves," said Ross.

With the anniversary of January 8th upon us, Ross hopes we move forward in a positive direction, rather than looking back.

"We want to encourage a day where people get out with each other and do something active engaging and worthwhile together," said Ross.

There's no arguing that January 8th was a horrible, horrible tragedy. It rocked this city, this community, to its core. But if 2 separate families, both who lost their flesh and blood that day, can move on and become stronger for it, then we all must do the same. Because that's what Gabe Zimmerman and Christina-Taylor Green deserve.

"I am really proud of our town and our community. They have really taken us under their wings," said John Green. "We just want to say thank you. It's been an outpouring of support and love since January. We're just really proud. I'm especially proud to be from Tucson," said Roxanna Green.

"I want the behavior of all in the community, all touched by the ripples of this to change for the better too. I want to see change," said Ross Zimmerman.

And that is triumph over tragedy.

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