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Florida Shooting Victims Honored

Three Florida students killed in last week’s shooting will receive medals from the U.S. Army for their bravery.

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Seventeen people were killed in last week’s school shooting in Parkland, Florida. Among them, heroes who put other people’s lives before their own.

Peter Wang, Alaina Petty and Martin Duque were all students at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School and were also cadets in the school’s Junior Reserves Officers’ Training Corps program. In light of their selfless actions, the U.S. Army is rewarding these three students the Army’s Medal of Heroism, which is reportedly the highest honor for Reserve Officers’ Training Corps cadets.

U.S. Army:

“The Medal of Heroism 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.”

The SunSentinel is reporting, a petition had been filed at WhiteHouse.gov with a “We the People” request to permit Wang to receive a Full Honors Military Burial prior to receiving the U.S. Army honor.

The petition reads:

“He was a JROTC Cadet who was last seen, in uniform, holding doors open and thus allowing other students, teachers, and staff to flee to safety. Wang was killed in the process. His selfless and heroic actions have led to the survival of dozens in the area. Wang died a hero, and deserves to be treated as such, and deserves a full honors military burial.”

According to witnesses, Wang was shot repeatedly while holding a door open to allow others to escape. CBS reports, Wang was also posthumously admitted to the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. A family friend said it was his dream to attend the prestigious academy and serve in the U.S. military.

Over 1,500 people, including Florida Governor Rick Scott, attended 14-year-old Petty’s funeral at her church. Both Petty and Wang received honorary awards during their funeral services Monday and Tuesday. Duque, who was remembered as “sweet, affectionate and loved by his entire family” will be awarded a medal on Saturday during his memorial service.

Awards for other potential cadets are in process of review.

Dani Matias is a student at the University of Texas. She is working toward a Bachelor's degree in Journalism with a minor in Spanish. She is an active member of Kappa Phi Gamma Sorority, Inc., NABJ and NAHJ.

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