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NFL

NFL remembers shooting victims with moments of silence

| Sunday, Dec. 16, 2012, 6:28 p.m.
REUTERS
The shoe of Giants wide receiver Victor Cruz bears the words 'R.I.P. Jack Pinto' in memory of one of the children killed in the Sandy Hook Elementary School shootings in Newtown, Conn., on Friday during play in the first half of their game in Atlanta on December 16, 2012. REUTERS/Tami Chappell

Two players who wear No. 26 joined hands with the coaches of the St. Louis Rams and Minnesota Vikings in tribute to the victims of the school massacre in Newtown, Conn., and New York Giants' players wore decals with the initials of Sandy Hook Elementary School.

There were moments of silence before all NFL games Sunday. The ceremony in St. Louis included Rams coach Jeff Fisher and Vikings coach Leslie Frazier, along with Rams running back Daryl Richardson and Vikings cornerback Antoine Winfield.

The players were selected because their number represents the total slain at the elementary school Friday.

Dozens of children wearing uniform jerseys held hands with players in a circle extending from the 30-yard lines at the Edward Jones Dome, centered on the Rams logo at midfield. Richardson, Winfield and the coaches formed an inner circle.

In Atlanta, Giants' players wore decals with the acronym “SHES” on the backs of their helmets.

“As a parent, you drop your kids off at school many times. It's hard to put into words what that community and those families must feel like. We obviously kept them in our prayers,” Miami Dolphins coach Joe Philbin said after his team's home game against Jacksonville. Philbin's 21-year-old son Michael fell into a Wisconsin river and drowned in January.

Flags were at half-staff at M&T Bank Stadium when the Baltimore Ravens hosted the Denver Broncos in one of the eight early games.

With the Maryland National Guard standing on the opposite end of the field from the flag bearers, the scoreboards went black as the public address announcer asked the crowd to observe “silent reflection” in the wake of Friday's “horrific tragedy.”

Just before the national anthem was sung by Gatlin Brothers at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas, there was a moment of silence, which included the huge video screen hanging over the field going black. Also, the ribbon boards and other electronic signs were turned off.

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