A San Francisco 49ers helmet with the initials S.H.E.S. in honor of the shooting victims of Sandy Hook elementary school during the game against the Seattle Seahawks. (Kirby Lee/Image of Sport-USA TODAY Sports)

Super Bowl 2013 Shines Bright Light on Sandy Hook Elementary Students

Over one month ago, 20 children and six staff members of Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, CT where killed by a gunman.

In the tragedy’s wake, the NFL observed a moment of silence before every game in the week after the shooting. Players also wore “S.H.E.S.” stickers on helmets, and wrote personal messages on shoes to show support, and perhaps to try and bear some of the burden.

Now, 26 students from Sandy Hook will sing “America the Beautiful” before Alicia Keys sings the national anthem at the Super Bowl. It’s a beautiful offer from the NFL.

The league is paying for the travel expenses of the children and their families to go to New Orleans.

As the Newtown community tries to find peace and stillness, these 26 children will carry a heavy honor. Once again, sports becomes an avenue to connect and help in the healing process. The gesture made by the NFL and by the 26 singing students shows that courage is all around us, particularly off the field.

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