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Giants-Eagles welcome 400 from Newtown

Updated 11:47 pm, Sunday, December 30, 2012

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  • EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - DECEMBER 30: Kenny Phillips #21 of the New York Giants greets families from Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut before the game between the New York Giants and the Philadelphia Eagles at MetLife Stadium on December 30, 2012 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

    EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - DECEMBER 30: Kenny Phillips #21 of the New York Giants greets families from Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut before the game between the New York Giants and the Philadelphia Eagles at MetLife Stadium on December 30, 2012 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

 

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Associated Press

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- Carrying signs to express their gratitude and their choice of love over violence in the wake of the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre, approximately 400 residents of Newtown, Conn., attended the New York Giants-Philadelphia Eagles game Sunday.

The residents, including about 200 students from the school system, formed a gantlet to welcome players from both teams before the game. They then held hands and ringed the field as the national anthem was played.

Players on both teams exchanged high-fives with the residents, who the Giants said included the family of Jack Pinto, the 6-year-old fan of the Giants who was buried in a No. 80 jersey of Victor Cruz, his favorite player.

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell also greeted the people in a tunnel.

Giants spokesman Pat Hanlon said there were a few families in attendance who lost children in the attack earlier this month. The families arrived in nine chartered buses. The team did not allow access to the residents, saying they just wanted to attend the game and enjoy it.

There were at least a dozen hand-made signs in the stadium, with the most poignant a green-and-white one that said, "Sandy Hook: We Choose Love."

Eagles coach Andy Reid and Giants coach Tom Coughlin each walked the gantlet slowly and said hello to many people.

The Newtown massacre happened Dec. 14 when a gunman forced his way into the school and killed 20 children and six adults in one of the deadliest school shootings in U.S. history.

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