This story has been reproduced from today's media. It does not necessarily represent the position of Liverpool Football Club.
It was fitting that his Liverpool FC side showcased the qualities Brendan Rodgers had lauded over the course of a momentous and emotional week.
Having stood on the steps of St George's Hall for the Hillsborough vigil and met some of the families of the 96, the manager had spoken eloquently about his admiration and respect for those who had fought for so long to ensure the truth finally emerged.
"Perseverance and persistence are the biggest things you can have in life," he said. "I drove away feeling a greater responsibility to these people."
Being manager following the publication of the damning report, which finally exposed the painful lies and 23-year-long cover-up, had brought home to Rodgers the magnitude of the job he has taken on.
After Saturday's game he talked about the "emotional contract" with the supporters who provide the soundtrack to their performances.
This was a day to remember those who lost their lives due to the incompetence of the authorities. Liverpool's training tops were emblazoned with '96' on the back, while the banners and chants from the away end highlighted the continuing battle for justice.
Sunderland showed their support by lowering the flags around the Stadium of Light to half-mast and as the match kicked off the big screens displayed the message: "The Hillsborough tragedy had a profound effect on football as a whole and the thoughts of all us at SAFC are with everyone affected by the tragic events of April 15th 1989. You'll never walk alone."
However, as well as being a day for reflection, Rodgers told his players before kick-off that this was also a day when they had a duty to give fans hope for the future. Despite the frustration of having to settle for a share of the spoils, they succeeded.
Liverpool's wait for a first league win of the season goes on but this represented a significant step forward following the defeat to Arsenal prior to the international break.
The Reds dominated for long periods and a point was scant reward for their efforts. The fact they were denied a greater return was down to some familiar issues.
The absence of a cutting edge derailed last season's league campaign and the new man at the helm is battling to try to ensure history doesn't repeat itself.
Creativity isn't a problem - highlighted by the Reds' 20 attempts on goal - but there is no ruthless streak. Twice, the woodwork was struck and other chances went begging before Luis Suarez finally pounced to fire home a 71st-minute equaliser.
How Liverpool were trailing up to that point was baffling considering Sunderland's lack of both possession and territory.
Coming on the back of his blunders against Hearts and Arsenal, the Stadium of Light would have been the last place Pepe Reina picked for his next outing.
Having been previously embarrassed by a beach ball, the Spanish keeper saw a shot bounce off his head for Nicklas Bendtner to grab the winner in this fixture last season.
However, his latest trip to the North East proved to be much more relaxing. Reina was rarely troubled but still a first league clean sheet eluded him.
Liverpool have had to work so much harder than their opponents to score so far this term and that continued with another soft one conceded.
The Black Cats had barely had a kick in the opening half hour but boyhood Reds fan Steven Fletcher punished some sloppy defending to break the deadlock.
Craig Gardner was allowed to bulldoze his way past Suarez and Glen Johnson far too easily and deliver the cross which the £12million signing from Wolves stole in front of Martin Skrtel to convert.
With confidence understandably fragile, you feared for Rodgers' side at that point. Liverpool had lost the previous 14 away league games they had trailed 1-0 at the break but this time they refused to accept their fate and produced a show of character.
Johnson atoned for his error in the build up to Fletcher's goal with a marauding display down the left.
The England international once again showed his versatility after switching flanks to accommodate the inclusion of Martin Kelly, who replaced Jose Enrique in the starting line up.
Johnson is well suited to Rodgers' attacking philosophy with the full-backs being given a licence to thrill.
There were times in the first half when Johnson and Kelly were so advanced that when possession was lost, Liverpool were left dangerously exposed out wide.
However, as the visitors controlled the second half, Johnson was a potent threat, cutting inside to hammer a blistering drive against the bar.
Steven Gerrard served up his best display for the Reds so far this season with his range of passing constantly picking holes in the Black Cats' rearguard. The skipper ran himself into the ground and only the post denied him a goal for his efforts.
Alongside him, Jonjo Shelvey justified his inclusion ahead of Nuri Sahin, whose bench-warming duties for Turkey meant he had been unable to build up his match fitness during the break.
Shelvey is a long way from being the finished article but the potential is clear. The England Under-21s midfielder got up in support of Suarez and went close to grabbing a late winner.
Rodgers shuffled his front three by putting Fabio Borini in a central role with Suarez and Raheem Sterling either side of him.
Borini had his moments and was twice thwarted by keeper Simon Mignolet in the first half but the Italian's impact waned once again and he made way for Stewart Downing.
Suarez, who only returned from South America late on Thursday, wasn't at his best and his frustration grew when he was booked for an alleged dive by referee Martin Atkinson. Replays suggested he may have been clipped by John O'Shea.
Most of what Suarez tried didn't come off but the Uruguayan worked tirelessly for the cause and his persistence eventually paid off.
The creator of the equaliser was Liverpool's outstanding performer. Rodgers is desperate to keep Sterling out of the spotlight but the teenager is making that increasingly difficult.
Fresh from his maiden England call-up, the speedy winger produced another eye-catching display. His direct and purposeful bursts ensured it was a torrid night for defender Danny Rose.
Sterling showed no fear, despite the Black Cats resorting to kicking lumps out of him. He provided a succession of quality deliveries from the right and one of them bounced off hapless substitute Titus Bramble for Suarez to convert.
Liverpool deserved more but the sense of disappointment was tempered at the end of a week which had put the importance of results firmly into context.