Heroes: US Army honors slain Florida high school junior cadets
Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School student Peter Wang was laid to rest on Tuesday, in his Junior Reserve Officers' Training Corps (JROTC) uniform and the Medal for Heroism was posthumously awarded to him by the US Army.
Wang, 15, was one of 17 victims claimed by gunman Nikolas Cruz last Wednesday and was last seen alive in full uniform while holding open a door for fellow classmates to help them escape. His fellow cadets Alaina Petty and Martin Duque were also killed in the attack.
It is with broken hearts that Sunrise Post 365 & Stoneman Douglas JROTC shares the loss of our soaring eagles! We honor them, and will miss their courage, tenacity, and their smiles! Cadet Peter Wang, Cadet Martin Duque, and Cadet Alaina Petty. May they always soar high! pic.twitter.com/eg0TKprzMV— sunrisepost365 (@sunrisepost365) February 18, 2018
Wang’s dream was to get accepted to the United States Military Academy (USMA), also called West Point. The US Army bestowed him with an honorary certificate to carry out his wish.
There has been an outpouring of condolences and tributes to Wang on social media, after it emerged that he sacrificed his life in the school shooting. On February 16, a White House petition was launched calling for Wang to be buried with full military honors.
“His selfless and heroic actions have led to the survival of dozens in the area. Wang died a hero, and deserves to be treated as such, and deserves a full honors military burial,” says the petition, which has accumulated over 64,500 signatures so far.
Peter Wang, 15, isn't getting as much coverage as the other Florida victims, even though he was last seen holding the door open so other people could escape. Keep his memory alive— K A M A L A 💫 (@KamalaMagic) February 15, 2018
“He wasn’t supposed to die,” his cousin said. “He was supposed to grow old with me.” #GunReformNowpic.twitter.com/Q23urhP6xK
15-year old Peter Wang was a hero. Before he was killed, he bravely held doors open so that his classmates could escape.— Khaled Beydoun (@KhaledBeydoun) February 16, 2018
His story is not receiving as much attention, but scores of students are alive today because of him. #ParklandStrongpic.twitter.com/gwHcyQMHOG
More comments followed after the Army commemorated the three slain cadets.
West Point will provide the family of Marjory Stoneman Douglas shooting victim Peter Wang a letter of acceptance to West Point Class of 2025, which was his dream, and honorarium tokens. His funeral is today. pic.twitter.com/kOb9P5mjdd— Brittany Wallman (@BrittanyWallman) February 20, 2018
Please make this happen: Peter Wang: Petition seeks full honors military funeral for Douglas JROTC cadet who 'died a hero' https://t.co/zF2IfMrRDL— Joy Reid (@JoyAnnReid) February 18, 2018
Just in: The US Army is awarding the Medal of Heroism to three of the Parkland victims, JROTC members "who gave their lives during the shooting" - Alaina Petty, Peter Wang, and Martin Duque, spokesman says.— Vera Bergengruen (@VeraMBergen) February 20, 2018
Peter Wang was killed in the Stoneman Douglas attack. According to other students, he was holding a door so others could get to safety & died still wearing his JROTC uniform. His friends started this petition for him receive a Full Honors Military Burial. https://t.co/Y0TRTfV7Gipic.twitter.com/L1aK84rvdj— Ian Margol Local 10 (@IanMargol) February 18, 2018
One angry responder tweeted to US President Donald Trump, calling for him to enact gun-control reforms.
“I didn’t want your condolences, I wanted gun control,” Sarah Chadwick wrote.
@realDonaldTrump hello I’m the 16 year old girl who tweeted you that I didn’t want your condolences, I wanted gun control, and went viral because of it. I heard you are coming to my community soon. I would love for you to hear my opinions on gun control in person.— Sarah Chadwick// #NEVERAGAIN (@sarahchad_) February 16, 2018
- a survivor