Peter Wang, 15, dreamed of attending the U.S. Military Academy at West Point after graduating from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. Today, military officials honored that dream by issuing a letter of acceptance for the 2025 class to the brave Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps member.
One of 17 victims of the horrific mass shooting last Wednesday, Wang was buried today in North Lauderdale, Florida, in his JROTC uniform after a funeral in Coral Springs. Wang joined the JROTC early in his freshman year.
While wearing his JROTC uniform, Wang lost his life while holding a door open to help classmates trying to escape the gunman who attacked the high school on Valentine’s Day. Dozens of students and teachers managed to escape as a result of his actions, NBC News reported. The Florida National Guard also honored Wang and two other JROTC members at their funerals.
The military academy said that Wang exemplified the principles of duty, honor, and country that West Point seeks to develop among its leadership officers, thus explaining the rare honor of a posthumous admission. An Army captain hand-delivered the West Point certificate of appointment to his parents at the funeral home today. Wang and his two fellow JROTC cadets from the Parkland school also received the U.S. Army’s Medal of Heroism, the top honor for ROTC cadets, the Florida Sun-Sentinel reported.
The medal “was pinned to the chest of his crisp JROTC uniform he was buried in on Tuesday afternoon,” the Miami Herald noted.
A local veteran contacted Chad Maxey, the head of a West Point alumni group in the area, about the student’s aspirations to study at the military academy, and he, in turn, reached out to officials at the academy that led to the posthumous acceptance letter, the Washington Post explained.
“Wang’s story reminded them ‘how incredible our young people are, willing to stand up and embody the values of our men and women in uniform, to protect others. That’s what Peter Wang means to our community.’”
In addition to family and friends, Peter Wang’s funeral was attended by many military veterans throughout Florida, who paid their respects to the hero.
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 pic.twitter.com/fycvJBhte8— US Military Academy (@WestPoint_USMA) February 20, 2018
A petition to the White House calling for Peter Wang to receive a full military funeral has recorded about 76,000 signatures at this writing. At least 100,000 will prompt an official response from the White House.
“Wang died a hero, and deserves to be treated as such, and deserves a full honors military burial,” the petition states.