Slain Sandy Hook teachers receive Presidential Citizens Medals (VIDEO)


US President Barack Obama presents a 2012 Citizens Medal to the family of slain Sandy Hook Elementary School teacher's aide Rachel Davino on February 15, 2013 during a ceremony in the East Room of the White House in Washington.



The six teachers killed during the Sandy Hook school shooting last December received posthumous 2012 Presidential Citizens Medals from an emotional President Obama today at the White House.

Rachel Davino, Anne Marie Murphy, Lauren Rousseau, Victoria Soto, Mary Sherlach and Dawn Hochsprung were among 18 who received the honor for “exemplary deeds of service for their country and their fellow citizens.”

Murphy was a teachers’ aide and Sherlach a school psychologist in Newtown, Conn., when a gunman broke down the doors and opened fire. The others were teachers, The Washington Post said.

“A special note to the families who are here from Sandy Hook; we are so blessed to be with you,” Obama said, according to the Post.

“I have gotten to know many of you through the course of some very difficult weeks. Your courage and love for each other and your communities shines through every single day.”

Also receiving medals were pediatrician Dr. Terry Brazelton, Iraq war veteran Adam Burke and former Pennsylvania Sen. Harris Wofford.

One of Brazelton’s best known achievements was the development of the Neonatal Behavioral Assessment Scale (NBAS), which is now used worldwide to recognize the physical and neurological responses of newborns, as well as emotional well-being and individual differences.

Burke is an Iraq combat veteran and recipient of the Purple Heart after a mortar attack. In 2009, he opened "Veterans Farm," a 19-acre handicap-accessible farm that helps teach veterans of all ages how to make a living from, and find healing in, the land.

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