A trio of Junior Reserve Officers’ Training Corps cadets among those killed last week at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School is being honored by the military.
Cadets Peter Wang, 15, Alaina Petty, 14, and Martin Duque, 13, will posthumously receive the Department of the Army’s Medal of Heroism, the highest award for JROTC members, The Army Times reported. As noted by the service, the medal recognizes those who accepted “danger and extraordinary responsibilities, exemplifying praiseworthy fortitude and courage.”
Wang, who grew up in Brooklyn and China, was dressed in his cadet uniform on the morning of the shooting and held open a door for classmates to escape, according to the Miami Herald. Over 100,000 signed a White House petition for Wang to be buried with military honors. As his family requested their son be buried in his uniform, Wang’s medal was pinned to his chest while a second award was given to his family.
Petty’s family was presented the medal on Monday. Duque will be presented the medal at his funeral Saturday.
The U.S. Military Academy at West Point, where Wang had hoped to attend after high school, recognized the cadet with honors and a letter of acceptance to the Class of 2025.
One of USMA’s priorities is to develop leaders of character who are committed to the values of Duty, Honor & Country. Peter Wang’s actions on February 14 are an example of those principles & the academy honors his dream of being a West Point cadet with a 2025 letter of acceptance pic.twitter.com/fycvJBhte8
— US Military Academy (@WestPoint_USMA) February 20, 2018
Gov. Rick Scott directed the Florida National Guard to attend the funerals of the three cadets to pay respects.
I’ve directed the @FLGuard to honor the three fallen JROTC members from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. @FLGuard members will be attending funeral services and paying respect to these JROTC members, their families and loved ones. https://t.co/0w8Lnuh5ro
— Rick Scott (@FLGovScott) February 20, 2018
Established in 1916, there are approximately 314,000 cadets enrolled in the program in over 1,700 high schools. Led by 4,000 retired Army instructors, the elective program focuses on character and leadership development. The service says cadets show higher school attendance, grades and graduation rates than students not in the program.