As 26 children in white polo shirts excitedly walked to center of the Superdome field and prepared to sing, a packed Super Bowl crowd revved up by a day of partying in the Big Easy fell silent.
The chorus from Sandy Hook Elementary School, nearly two months removed from a deadly shooting rampage, joined Jennifer Hudson to deliver a stirring rendition of ''America the Beautiful'' on Sunday that had some players on the sideline and countless fans in the stands on the verge of tears.
Judging by the responses on social media, the performance appeared destined to become one of the most poignant memories of the Super Bowl, regardless of what played out in the game.
''Sandy hook elementary chorus singing America the beautiful and Alicia keys national anthem makes me proud to be American,'' model Kate Upton, who was attending the game, said on her Twitter page.
Gerald Rokoff, standing near a portal in the Superdome's upper deck, turned and said, ''Beyond beautiful,'' when the children f...