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Medal of Honor Society to honor Newtown educators

Monday - 5/6/2013, 2:32pm  ET

FILE - This Dec. 14, 2012 aerial file photo shows Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., where a gunman shot 27 people dead, including 20 children. The Sandy Hook School Building Task Force meets Friday night, May 3, 2013, to debate whether to renovate or rebuild on the existing school site, or to construct a new school building on nearby property. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez, File)

NEWTOWN, Conn. (AP) -- An organization composed of Medal of Honor recipients traveled to Newtown on Monday to honor the six educators killed in the December massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School.

The Congressional Medal of Honor Society said it chose Rachel D'Avino, Dawn Hochsprung, Anne Marie Murphy, Lauren Rousseau, Mary Sherlach and Victoria Soto to receive its Citizen Honors Medal, the highest award it gives to a civilian, after receiving dozens of nominations for their actions during the shooting.

The women exemplified courage, sacrifice and selflessness in trying to protect students from gunman Adam Lanza, the society said in announcing the honor.

The organization also planned to honor every other member of the school's staff with a Certificate of Commendation.

"Many teachers and staff members disregarded their own safety that day to hide and protect the children in their care," said Harold Fritz, the society's president.

The society honored four other people with the award this year. They received their medals during an annual ceremony on March 25 at Arlington National Cemetery.

The society decided to honor the Sandy Hook heroes separately and arranged to present the awards to family members at Monday's ceremony inside Newtown High School.


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