The Congressional Medal of Honor Society traveled to Newtown, Conn., Monday to honor the six educators that were killed in the shooting massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School in December.
After multiple nominations, the six Newtown educators—Rachel D’Avino, Dawn Hochsprung, Anne Marie Murphy, Lauren Rousseau, Mary Sherlach and Victoria Soto—will receive the Citizen Honors Medal, the highest award it gives to a civilian, for protecting their students against 20-year-old Adam Lanza, the Newtown gunman who also fatally shot 20 schoolchildren.
“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.
Surviving teachers and staff from Sandy Hook Elementary School also received a certificate of commendation.
Four other individuals have been awarded by the society this year, and were honored during an annual ceremony on March 25 at Arlington National Cemetery.
On February 15, President Obama presented the families of the Newtown educators the 2012 Presidential Citizens Medal, the nation’s second-highest civilian honor. ”Their selflessness and courage inspire us all to look for opportunities to better serve our communities and our country, ” Obama said about this year’s recipients.