The U.S. Army has officially awarded Medals of Heroism to the three JROTC students who were killed defending their classmates during the mass shooting at a Florida high school last Wednesday. The medal is the highest honor awarded to Reserve Officers’ Training Corps cadets.
The Medal of Heroism is being awarded to students Peter Wang, Alaina Petty, and Martin Duque and recognizes that they were “involved the acceptance of danger and extraordinary responsibilities, exemplifying praiseworthy courage and fortitude.”
From Task & Purpose:
All three students were among the 17 people killed by former Stoneman Douglas High School JROTC cadet Nikolas Cruz on Wednesday. According to eyewitness accounts, Wang was last seen holding a door open to allow his fellow students to escape. The Army confirmed the news, first reported by The Daily Beast, to Task & Purpose on Tuesday.
The Army presented Petty’s family with her Medal of Heroism at a Feb. 19 memorial service, according to The Daily Beast, while Duque’s family will receive his medal on Saturday. Wang’s family received his medal during his Tuesday memorial service, where a sizeable military presence is expected.
It is with broken hearts that Sunrise Post 365 & Stoneman Douglas JROTC shares the loss of our soaring eagles! We honor them, and will miss their courage, tenacity, and their smiles! Cadet Peter Wang, Cadet Martin Duque, and Cadet Alaina Petty. May they always soar high! pic.twitter.com/eg0TKprzMV
— sunrisepost365 (@sunrisepost365) February 18, 2018
The gunman, 19-year-old Nikolas Cruz, was also a JROTC member before he was expelled from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.
As reported by The Daily Beast, Alaina Petty, 14, was “excited to be part of the female color guard team and every day she would come home and tell me all the fun things she had learned,.” Martin Duque, also 14, was remembered by family members as a football fan and attended church regularly. “He was sweet, affectionate and loved by his entire family. But above all else, he was my little brother,” Duque’s brother Miguel wrote on a GoFundMe page set up to help out his family.
Featured image via Twitter