When Peter Wang heard the shouts and screams, he knew the bullets were not far behind. And as a JROTC Cadet, he felt that it was his duty to help save the lives of his fellow students at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. As gunman Nikolas Cruz stalked the halls killing innocents, Wang must have been terrified. But he acted like a hero despite his fear. With bullets whizzing past, he heroically held the door as his fellow students rushed to safety.
It was his last act as Cruz’s bullets entered his body and eventually stopped his heart.
As the country mourns the most recent school shooting tragedy and tries to figure out how to make them stop, the people in Florida try to comprehend the atrocity that happened in their community. As part of that healing, the United States Army awarded Wang with the JROTC Medal of Heroism. Not only that, but the United States Military Academy at West Point has also honored Wang for his bravery. And this is a unique recognition because West Point was the school he always dreamed of attending.
Brittany Wallman reported it on Twitter, “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.”
Although he died holding the door so his classmates could get to safety, West Point felt like he deserved posthumous admission to their world-class academy. So they gave it to him.
During Peter Wang’s funeral service on Tuesday, West Point presented them with his letter of acceptance. And the small act touched their hearts.
On Tuesday, West Point tweeted, “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.”
Besides offering this brave young man with the letter he and his family always dreamed they’d one day see, West Point also released the following statement sharing condolences with the Wang family and the Parkland community.
“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. It was an appropriate way for USMA to honor this brave young man.”
Wang was not the only cadet at the school. And Cadet Alaina Petty and Cadet Martin Duque also received the Medal of Heroism for their acts of bravery.
The Army hopes to recognize other students but in the wake of the tragedy “the immediate focus right now is on supporting the funerals with dignity and honor, so deserved by these Cadets and their families.”
Peter Wang lived up to his and the Army’s values. We offer our condolences to his family and loved ones and are saddened that he was taken so young.