The Virginia Tech football team will wear a helmet decal to honor the victims of the school shooting in Newtown, Conn. for their upcoming bowl game.
Virginia Tech was the site of the deadliest school shooting in the United States, when a gunman killed 32 people and wounded 17 others on April 16, 2007. The Dec. 14 shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School, in which 20 children and six faculty members died, was the second-deadliest.
To remember those lost in both tragedies, the Hokies’ helmets will be adorned with a large orange-and-green ribbon, the word “Prevail” and the number 58 for the total number of victims.
“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 told 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 will face Rutgers in the Russell Athletic Bowl on Friday in Orlando.
“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).”