The United States Army is awarding Medals of Heroism to each of the three Junior Reserve Officers' Training Corps students who died saving others in last week's tragic mass shooting in Parkland, Florida.
One of the students, Cadet Peter Wang, will also be admitted posthumously to the United States Army's West Point Academy — a lifelong dream that was stolen from him when he was gunned down with 16 of his classmates.
The Daily Beast reports that Army officials presented medals to Cadet Wang's family at his memorial service on Tuesday and to the family of Cadet Alaina Petty, whose service was held earlier this week. Cadet Martin Duque's family will receive a medal at his funeral service on Saturday.
The medal, the Army says, recognizes military members who are “involved in the acceptance of danger and extraordinary responsibilities.”
Florida military veterans also organized their own memorial on social media, and will be at Wang's funeral on Tuesday, in a show of solidarity with a fallen member of their brotherhood. Wang died helping students evade the stalking shooter; the JROTC cadet reportedly held a door open so that his classmates could exit the building safely, but was killed before he made it out himself.
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 had hoped to attend West Point, and the military academy announced on Tuesday that they would be presenting Wang's family with a letter of acceptance, as well as a plaque with honorarium tokens.
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
Wang will be recognized as a member of the West Point Class of 2025.
The three students were among 17 killed and more than 20 injured when an armed gunman, whom law enforcement were warned could engage in an attack of this nature, rampaged through the halls of Marjory Stoneman Douglas high school in Parkland, Florida.