Three students killed in the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School last week are being awarded posthumous medals of heroism, the Miami Herald reports.
“One will be presented to the family of Cadet Peter Wang this morning at his service,” U.S. Army Cadet Command spokesman Michael Maddox told the Herald on Tuesday. “It’s my understanding that this is an open casket service and the family requested their son be buried in his JROTC uniform. The JROTC Heroism medal will be on his uniform, but a second ‘keepsake’ medal will be given to the family.”
Wang, 15, died in his uniform while holding the door open to allow his classmates to escape as accused gunman Nikolas Cruz opened fire in the school’s freshman building last Wednesday.
A petition calling for a full honors military funeral called Wang a hero, saying his “selfless and heroic actions have led to the survival of dozens in the area.”
Maddox told the Herald that the family of 14-year-old Alaina Petty was given her medal at her funeral on Monday, while the family of 14-year-old Martin Duque will receive his medal during his funeral on Saturday.
According to the Army’s website, the medal is “a U.S. military decoration awarded by the Department of the Army to a JROTC cadet who performs an act of heroism. 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. The performance must have involved the acceptance of danger and extraordinary responsibilities, exemplifying praiseworthy fortitude and courage.”