The Sandy Hook chorus took center stage on Super Bowl Sunday, performing for a worldwide audience of millions just weeks after the horrific shooting at their school.
The 26 children in the Sandy Hook chorus walked to the center of the Superdome field to sing America the Beautiful in a performance so stirring it had several players in tears, The Associated Press noted. The chorus was joined by Jennifer Hudson, who herself gave a rousing performance.
Immediate reactions on social media noted that the Sandy Hook chorus was one of the most memorable performances in Super Bowl History.
“Sandy hook elementary chorus singing America the beautiful and Alicia keys national anthem makes me proud to be American,” model Kate Upton tweeted during the game.
Sandy Hook Elementary School was thrown into the spotlight in December when gunman Adam Lanza burst into the school, killing 20 children and six adults. Though the Sandy Hook chorus did not give interviews, its members did release a statement.
“We have come to New Orleans to represent the Sandy Hook Family and the community of Newtown, Connecticut,” the statement said. “Our wish is to demonstrate to America and the world that, `We are Sandy Hook and We Choose Love.’ ”
Baltimore Ravens head coach John Harbaugh watched the performance with his arm around his daughter Alison and his right hand over his heart.
The Sandy Hook chorus performing at the Super Bowl is not the first connection the school has had to the NFL. Shortly after the shooting, New York Giants receiver Victor Cruz wore a message in honor of shooting victim Jack Pinto, who has a big fan and was buried in his Cruz jersey. He later visited the Pinto family, ESPN noted.