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“It just shows that they’re still persevering despite what’s happened to them,” Hamilton said. “It was a great way to lift up the people of Sandy Hook as well, and to let them know that the people of America support them.”

Hamilton said that as a teacher, when she thinks about the shooting she thinks of herself in the same situation. She said Hudson did well leading the song, but the kids were the main event.

“I thought the kids were more inspirational that they could get up there and sing despite everything that had happened to them,” she said.

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Associated Press Writer Oskar Garcia in Honolulu, Hawaii, contributed to this report.