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"We Are Sandy Hook And We Choose Love"

5:33 PM, Feb 4, 2013   |    comments
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Greensboro, NC -- Super Bowl Sunday:  the biggest stage in American sports.  But the real stars never touched a football.

READ: Sandy Hook's Emotional Start to The Super Bowl

They didn't come with big names like Beyonce or Alicia Keys, but they moved us because they're our heroes.

26 children from Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut sang "America the Beautiful," and quieted a stadium of fans, rowdy with excitement for the game to come.

They lived through one of the most tragic events in our history as a gunman murdered 20 of their schoolmates, their principal, and teachers they walked the halls with every day.

Dr. Nannette Funderburk is a physcotherapist and says the performance was a way for the students to show the country they are healing. 

"What this event says is that hey we have, we have gone through this and now we are coming out, we are emerging, we might not be where we want to be but we are moving forward," explained Dr. Funderburk, The Social and Emotional Learning Group.

"I think that's a positive message to communicate to the community because this incident struck fear in all of us, there was just this atmosphere of fear and what this says, is when something bad happens, yes it is bad but we can move forward and we will move forward."

Sports have this amazing ability to bring people from all backgrounds together to one place.

110 million people were estimated to watch the Super Bowl, making the game  the perfect stage for this performance. 

"This was not just a place for them to be seen in front of everyone, seen doing well, but this is also a place for them to feel the love and support from everyone who saw the tragic events unfold," said Dr. Funderburk. 

Funderburk doesn't call the performance closure, rather a sign that it's okay to move forward.

"The fear and the arguments and things like that that have come out of those tragic events, those don't have to be the focus. We can look; we can kind of be like the phoenix that rises above the ashes. I think this is what this event speaks to, that is what these kids are symbolizing," said Funderburk.

Sandy Hook Elementary released a statement to The Associated Press saying, "We have come to New Orleans to represent the Sandy Hook Family and the community of Newtown, Connecticut...Our wish is to demonstrate to America and the world that, `We are Sandy Hook and we choose love."' 

WATCH: Sandy Hook Students Perform at the Super Bowl With Jennifer Hudson

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