(AP) An organization composed of Medal of Honor recipients traveled to Newtown on December 23 to honor the six educators killed on 12/14 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 society decided to honor the Sandy Hook educators separately, and arranged to present the awards to family members at a ceremony on Monday at Newtown High School.
The women exemplified courage, sacrifice and selflessness in trying to protect students from the gunman, 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.