Three of the young heroes who gave their lives to save their classmates received recognition for their selfless bravery.
Junior Reserve Officers’ Training Corps cadets Peter Wang, Martin Duque and Alaina Petty were all awarded the Medal of Heroism posthumously for their valiant efforts during the school shooting Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. The three cadets died along 14 others in the horrific mass shooting.
The Medal of Heroism is the highest honor that members of the JROTC can be awarded.
The Army only awards the Medal of Heroism to a JROTC cadet “who performs an act of heroism.”
They official criteria stipulates “The achievement must be an accomplishment so exceptional and outstanding that it clearly sets the individual apart from fellow students or from other persons in similar circumstances.”
Additionally, “The performance must have involved the acceptance of danger and extraordinary responsibilities, exemplifying praiseworthy fortitude and courage.”
As we reported last week, Peter died taking gunfire whilst holding open the door and directing his classmates to escape.
He was a sophomore who dreamed of one day attending the prestigious West Point. Moved by his sacrifice, West Point also honored Peter with a posthumous acceptance after learning of his dream through a local veteran’s group.
An official statement from the United States Military Academy declared “Peter Wang, an Army Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps cadet at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, had a lifetime goal to attend USMA and was posthumously offered admission for his heroic actions on Feb. 14, 2018.”
West Point added “It was an appropriate way for USMA to honor this brave young man.” Such offers and honors are “restricted in very rare instances for those candidates or potential candidates whose actions exemplified the tenets of duty, honor and country.”
Two medals were awarded to Peter and his family. One for him to be buried in, and a copy for them to cherish. Peter’s funeral was reportedly standing room only as friends, family, classmates, and teachers flocked to pay their respects.
A particularly emotional moment occurred when members of Peter’s unit performed as the color guard in the ceremony.
While Peter, Alaina, and Martin’s lives were cut tragically short, they will forever be remembered as heroes for their remarkable service.
Via The Sun Sentinel