CAROLYN'S COMPOSITIONS

January 14, 2011

Children of courage: May They Rest in Peace


CAROLYN’S COMPOSITIONS

CHILDREN OF COURAGE:

MAY THEY REST IN PEACE

I read about two courageous children this week. One was on the other end of the world in Toowoomba, Australia. One was in Tucson, Arizona—on this country’s soil.

JORDAN RICE

A thirteen year old boy who chose life for his ten year brother Blake rather than life for himself.

     On January 11, 2011,flash flooding struck without warning in Toowoomba, a city of about 90,000 people nestled in mountains of Australia,  2,300 above sea level. The deluge fell over a concentrated area, sending a 26-foot, fast-moving torrent crashing through Toowoomba and smaller towns farther down the valley.

     Jordan and Blake were in the car with their mother when a torrent of floodwater trapped the family in their car. Two men reached the car in spite of the pummeling water, which knocked one of the men away from rescue attempts. When the second man managed to reach the car, Jordan insisted the man rescue Blake first, according to a third brother, Kyle.

     “Courage kicked in, and he would rather his little brother would live,” the sixteen year old said. Jordan and his mother were washed away before the men were able to get back to them.

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CHRISTINA-TAYLOR GREEN

A budding patriot, born on one terrible day and died on another, with just nine years in between.

   Christina-Taylor was excited about going to Rep. Gabrielle Giffords’ informal town hall event on January 8, 2010. Her interest in politics began during the last presidential campaign. She “talked about getting all the parties to come together so we could live in a better country,” her mother, Roxanna Green, said. “She was going to Giffords’ event to ask questions about how she could help and to learn more about politics in our country.”

     She was recently elected Mesa Verde Elementary School class president, and planned to start a club there to help less fortunate classmates. At age nine, she was already more civic minded than many American adults.

     Christina, born on September 11, 2001, was “proud” of her historic birthday because “it lent a grace note of hope to that terrible day.” As she grew, she was preoccupied with her unusual birthday. When she was younger, her parents corrected Christina when she told people she’d been born on a “holiday.” But the Greens came to view that day as one not only of tragedy but of resurrection and aspiration.

     As a result, Christina became very patriotic and often wore red, white and blue. She was drawn to the idea of politics and public service. She went with her neighbor, Susan Hileman, to meet their congresswoman—“It was women being proud of other women,” Hileman’s husband, Bill, said.

     Even in death, Christina helped others; she was an organ donor.

     “Here was a young girl who was just becoming aware of our democracy, just beginning to understand the obligations of citizenship, just starting to glimpse the fact that someday she too might play a part in shaping her nation’s future,” Pres. Obama noted. “I want us to live up to her expectations. I want America to be as good as she imagined it.”

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ADDITIONAL READING:

CHILDISH CHARACTERISTICS

KEEPING PEACE IN SOUTH AFRICA Part 1

THE HOLOCAUST STORY OF A TEENAGE VICTIM (Part 1)

When Children’s Service Agencies Won’t Respond to Complaints

MOOSE, GOOSE, DEER

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