The Virginia Tech Hokies plan to honor the shooting victims of Sandy Hook Elementary School in their bowl game Friday against Rutgers with a large ribbon decal on every player’s helmet.
The Dec. 14 massacre in Newtown,Conn. was the second-deadliest school shooting in the United States. There were 20 children and six faculty members murdered in the tragedy. The deadliest school massacre occurred at Virginia Tech on April 16, 2007, where a gunman killed 32 people and wounded 17 others.
The Hokies have decided to honor the victims of both tragedies by wearing a large orange-and-green ribbon on their helmets with the word “Prevail”. The number 58 will be in the middle of the ribbon to represent the total number victims killed.
“It’s just one of those things that we’ve been through what those people up in Sandy Hook are going through,” Virginia Tech coach Frank Beamer said Monday, according to the Orlando Sentinel. “We prevailed in Blacksburg. I think if anything, it brought us closer and more determined, and the same thing is going to happen there. The way the community is coming together. It’s a terrible thing to happen.”
Virginia Tech is following in the footsteps of many professional sports teams in remembering the victims. After the shooting took place the NBA and NFL honored the victims with a moment of silence before each game. The New England Patriots honored the victims by shooting off 26 flares, one for each person.
Beamer was defiant that people must be more unified and must prevail through these acts of violence.
“We’ve got to prevail,” Beamer said. “We can’t let one person define Blacksburg or Virginia Tech, and we can’t let (one) person define (Newtown).”
The Hokies will play in the Russell Athletic Bowl on Friday and hope to pull out a victory over Rutgers for the victims of both tragedies.