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Christina-Taylor Green memorial dedicated Sunday afternoon

Posted at 5:47 PM, Apr 02, 2017
and last updated 2017-04-03 00:19:01-04

A brand new memorial was officially dedicated to Christina-Taylor Green Sunday afternoon -- and it was a moment of celebration.

"One, two, three, butterflies!" the family chanted as they cut the ceremonial ribbon, officially unveiling the park. John and Roxanna Green's daughter, Christina-Taylor, was the youngest victim of the Jan. 8, 2011 shooting. Though bittersweet, they say her legacy and spirit live on thanks to things like this.

"What we want to focus on is her, how wonderful she was, and all of the good that she was about," her father, John Green said. "And this is a way to do that."

The family explained this new memorial was a complete, community-wide effort. From the landscaping to the creation of statues and benches, to the 1,100 plants and flowers planted in the area, the Green family wanted to honor everyone that helped out. So, they engraved everyone's names who donated to help make the park a reality on pavers at a part of the memorial.

A statue of a boy and a girl reading on a log with the words "love," and, "hope," engraved on two books sits in the middle of the memorial. Some people see it as Christina-Taylor and her brother Dallas, but the family says it can be representative of just two children enjoying a day, reading at the park. A part of the memorial that holds near and dear to the Green family -- a butterfly sculpture, looking down at the entire park. The sculpture is nearly an exact replica of the last drawing of a butterfly she drew -- one of her favorite things.

"She'll be remembered forever thanks to projects like these," her father said. "And you know, I look up there and see that big butterfly -- and it makes me smile."

With smiles on their faces, the Green family explained Christina-Taylor was the kind of girl to always make everyone in the room come together. On Sunday, she did just that -- with the Tucson community -- one that came together to help the family out after the tragedy, as well as the other victims that day.

"What it means to me is that Christina has been able to bring this community together," Mr. Green said.

This new memorial park -- special place for the Green family -- and a special place for the community that wrapped their arms around them.

The memorial is located at the Canada del Oro Christina-Taylor Green Memorial River Park on Shannon and Magee.