Giants to honor Sandy Hook students

Posted Dec 30, 2012

Approximately 200 students from Sandy Hook Elementary School will participate in pregame ceremonies

The Giants will host a large and very special group of guests in MetLife Stadium today for their season finale against the Philadelphia Eagles.

Approximately 200 students from Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., the site of the horrific shooting two weeks ago, will participate in pregame ceremonies and watch the game. They will be joined by an equal number of parents and faculty members. The Newtown contingent will be accompanied onto the field by 50 Wounded Warriors.

“I spoke to the team this morning about that,” coach Tom Coughlin said of the impending visit. “What it really means to all of us is we were so taken aback and so shocked and felt so badly for the families…not only the families of the children, but the principal, the school psychologist and the real heroes who knew exactly what was coming and still charged and attacked and knew what the outcome would be. It’s Giant country, and we know that. To have that group from the Sandy Hook Elementary School and the Newtown community come down for this game with Philadelphia, it means a great deal to us and we would certainly like to honor them. The best we can do is take each individual and play to the best of his ability and make a statement as a team as well. We’re not alone in our passion and empathy for this school and for their lost loved ones. I’m sure an entire country feels that way, but it’s special for us to have them here this weekend.”

The students and adults from Sandy Hook will travel to the stadium today via a caravan of nine chartered Academy buses.

Once on the field, the group from Sandy Hook and the Wounded Warriors will form two gauntlets – one from each tunnel connecting to the Giants and Eagles locker rooms. The teams will run through the gauntlets onto the field.

When the teams are on the field, the Sandy Hook residents, Wounded Warriors and players and coaches from both teams will circle the field for the national anthem. There will also be a moment of silence prior to the game.

Pro Bowl wide receiver Victor Cruz already has a connection with Sandy Hook. Jack Pinto, one of the children killed in the attack on December 14, was a big fan of both the Giants and Cruz, who visited the Pinto family in Newtown on the 18th and is thrilled the Giants extended an invitation to their mourning community.

“I think it’s great,” Cruz said. “I think it’s awesome. I spoke to the Pinto family last week just to check up on them and see how they’re doing and they’re coming along well. They’re going to be at the game, also. So I’m excited to see them again and I think it’s good for them to get away a little bit and spend some time...watching some football and getting their minds off of things a little bit.”

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