U.S. Army Awards Medal of Heroism to Slain Parkland Students
Peter Wang, Alaina Petty, and Martin Duque weren’t old enough to enlist, but they were brave enough to save fellow students when the gunfire began.
PARKLAND, Florida — The U.S. Army has given medals to three Junior Reserve Officers' Training Corps cadets killed in the Parkland school shooting last week, a spokesperson told The Daily Beast on Tuesday.
The Medal of Heroism was presented to the family of Alaina Petty at a memorial service on Monday, the Army said, and will be given to the family of Peter Wang during his memorial service today. Martin Duque’s family will be given the medal on Saturday, the Army added. The medal recognizes cadets whose performance “involved the acceptance of danger and extraordinary responsibilities.”
During the shooting, Wang, 15, held open a door to allow his fellow classmates to escape to safety. Students told the South Florida Sun Sentinel, “He is so funny, caring and selfless.’’ Wang’s older cousin added, “He is so brave.”
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,” Petty's mother told the Sun Sentinel. Duque, also 14, was remembered by family members as a football fan and a regular churchgoer, the Miami Herald reported. “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 to help cover additional funeral expenses.
Military veterans are expected to attend Wang’s funeral on Tuesday.
—Elisha Brown contributed to this report