But thinking about it now just takes Naman to another tragedy.
This past Jan. 8, 9-year-old Christine-Taylor Green — among those mentioned in the original “Faces of Hope” book that came out in ’02 — was one of six killed in Tucson, Ariz., during an open meeting U.S. Representative Gabrielle Giffords held for members of her constituency in a supermarket parking lot.
After the infamous 9/11 attacks, Naman set out to compile pictures and stories from one baby in each state born on that day, then touch base with each of them as their lives progressed every 10 years. In accordance with her new book, “Faces of Hope 10 Years Later: Babies Born on 9/11,” almost half of those kids made their way to New York this week — to meet, to take part in activities and, mostly, to learn about the history of their birthday.
But Naman keeps thinking about the one who can’t be there.
“I can say there wasn’t a word that I wrote, a thought that I had, a photograph I collected or an interview that I did for that second book, where I didn’t wish I could’ve said, ‘Yes, we have all 50 of them,'” Naman said. “We do have all 50 because Christina’s family has blessed us with their participation. But I know that they would’ve been in New York [this] week. I just would give everything if [Christina] would be here, to give her a hug and get to meet her. I know she was an incredible young lady.”
Green was the daughter of Dodgers scout John Green and granddaughter of former Major League pitcher, manager and executive Dallas Green.
Naman will never forget the day she found out about the girl’s tragic death.
That Saturday night at around 11, she received a phone call from a Tucson reporter telling her one of the children in her “Faces of Hope” book had been killed. Since there were no last names in the book, Naman thought it was a mistake. A few hours later, she realized it wasn’t.
“I have a 9-year-old, too, and you just can’t imagine that,” Naman said. “You just can’t wrap your head around that happening, and when it does, it shakes you; just shakes you.”
Naman’s first “Faces of Hope” book was the result of journal entries about how bittersweet it was to give birth to her son, Trevor, on such a tragic day. Naman, she explained, “then felt the need to go beyond that.”
“At first I felt alone,” Naman said. “I felt I was in a solitary position, and then I thought, ‘That’s silly. There have to be other moms out there feeling these mixed emotions.'”
It turns out there were plenty. The following January, Naman began searching online for Sept. 11, 2001, birth announcements in 49 states and quickly got 49 names while hardly having to make more than 49 phone calls.
In the first book, each of the 50 newborns — one of whom is Trevor, who represents Pennsylvania — had a picture and a quote.
In the second, released Aug. 1, they each have an updated photo, a coloring page of how they see America and another quote.
Naman had always planned on doing a 10-year-anniversary book, but she didn’t begin contacting families until after she found out about Green. When Naman spoke to Green’s mother, Roxanna, the two agreed she’d be honored posthumously and would continue to be represented when a new version comes out every decade.
“[Roxanna] was very receptive to that,” Naman said. “She felt it was a kind gesture. I wanted Christina to still have her pages, and she wanted Christina to still have her pages. She’d still be proud of the book because she was always very proud of being in it.”
** Photo: The Associated Press