Following the shooting last Wednesday at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., the U.S. Army is awarding the Medal of Heroism to three students who died in the attack. Peter Wang, Alaina Petty and Martin Duque will receive the award at their respective memorial services in the coming week. All three students were JROTC members. Speaking to BuzzFeed News, a U.S. Army spokesman stated that the trio will be honored for giving “their lives during the shooting.”
The award is bestowed upon those JROTC cadets who “perform and act of heroism” that “must have involved the acceptance of danger and extraordinary responsibilities, exemplifying praiseworthy fortitude and courage.”
The family of Peter Wang was the first to receive the award during his funeral on Tuesday, which was pinned to his JROTC uniform, in which his family wished that he be buried. Another “keepsake” medal was given to his parents.
In addition to the Medal of Heroism, Wang was also posthumously admitted into the U.S Military Academy at West Point as part of its class of 2025. It had been the 15-year old Wang’s dream to attend the school.
Wang was last seen holding a door open amidst gunfire, allowing other students to escape before he was shot and killed by Nikolas Cruz. Speaking to CBS This Morning, Ernie Rospierski, a Stoneman history teacher who saw Wang’s heroics, said he was “holding the door pushing kids through the door while bullets are coming at him. I don’t know many adults who could have done that.”
Along with the award, Florida Gov. Rick Scott ordered the state’s National Guard to attend the three students’ services. An online petition to have Wang buried with full military honors has collected 40,500 signatures as of this writing.
The Army is determining whether more awards for other JROTC cadets mentioned in reports will be administered.