Cara Liu, CBS 5 News
TUCSON, Ariz.Saying they stand as a symbol of unity and peace, members of Angel Project lined the street leading to St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Church on Thursday afternoon as the funeral for the youngest victim of the Tucson mass shooting was set to begin.
Group members said they wanted to shield the family of 9-year-old shooting victim Christina Taylor Green from a Westboro Baptist Church protest in case it materialized for Christina's funeral service.
Its just absolutely sickening that people could do this, said Wayne Belger, of the Angel Project. A lot of people in (Westboros) organization are attorneys and theyre waiting for you to hit them so they can make money (by filing a lawsuit). Thats their income.
Belger said the volunteers dressed as white angels to create a peaceful, white barrier between the victim's family and any signs of hate.
"To add pain to pain -- it cant happen, said Belger.
Well over 1,000 people showed up to stand outside the church. Many said they hoped to show the family how much they cared.
Some motorcycle groups were among the attendees. Two Tucson women, who met Christina at Build-A-Bear, a store that allows children to create their own teddy bears, brought a pink Build-A-Bear dressed as an angel.
The largest flag recovered from ground zero after the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center was raised by two fire trucks with ladders extended, and several hundred people lined a road near the church to show support.
Christina Green was born on Sept. 11, 2001, and was featured in a book called "Faces of Hope" that chronicled one baby from each state born on the day terrorists killed nearly 3,000 people in New York, Pennsylvania and Washington, D.C.
Christina's funeral was the first for the six victims killed when a gunman opened fire on a crowd at an event for Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, critically injuring the Democrat congresswoman and wounding 13 others.
The third-grader had an interest in politics and had recently been elected to her student council. She was also the only girl on her Little League baseball team and wanted to become the first professional female baseball player. .
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