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Paul Simon Performs at Funeral for Slain Newtown Teacher Victoria Soto

Victoria Soto Paul Simon
Ilya S. Savenok / John Moore, Getty Images

Paul Simon joined mourners for the funeral of slain Sandy Hook Elementary first grade teacher Victoria Soto on Wednesday (Dec. 19). According to the New York Daily News, the singer picked up his guitar with no introduction and performed ‘The Sound of Silence’ midway through the memorial service for the 27-year-old, to her gathered family and friends. It was Soto’s favorite song. Afterward, he returned to his seat without applause, “just a hushed and reverent silence.”

Soto is reported to have hurried her students into a closet as gunman Adam Lanza burst into her classroom. She then placed herself in the path of the bullets. Simon knows the Soto family through his sister-in-law, who is a nurse.

“My sister gave her life to save her kids, and if that’s not true strength and heroism, I don’t know what is,” Carlee Soto said during the service. Other relatives and friends remembered Victoria Soto as a vibrant teacher who had enjoyed a happy childhood, and was still in touch with her own inner child

“She loved to dance, be silly, make people laugh and just do crazy things,” Rachel Schiavone, a college roommate, told mourners.

This isn’t the first time a celebrity has been moved to help the town of Newtown, Conn. with the grieving process. Six-year-old Jack Pinto was buried in the jersey of New York Giants football player Victor Cruz. The receiver visited the family’s home on his day off this week.

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