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Peter Wang (cadet)

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Peter Wang
File:Peter Wang cropped.jpg
Native name
王孟杰[1]
Born(2002-11-09)November 9, 2002
DiedFebruary 14, 2018(2018-02-14) (aged 15)
Cause of deathGunshot wound
Resting placeBailey Memorial Gardens, North Lauderdale, Florida, U.S.
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NationalityAmerican
EducationMarjory Stoneman Douglas High School (2017–2018)
OccupationCadet, high school student
Known forStoneman Douglas High School shooting
Awards20px Medal for Heroism (posthumous)

Peter Wang (Chinese: 王孟杰; pinyin: Wáng Mèngjié; November 9, 2002 – February 14, 2018) was an American Junior Reserve Officers' Training Corps (JROTC) cadet and high school student who was killed during the Stoneman Douglas High School shooting on February 14, 2018.[2] Wang was born in Brooklyn and raised in Broward County, Florida, and was a freshman at the time of his death. During the shooting, Wang helped students escape the gunfire by holding an exit door open and pushing victims out.[3] For his actions, Wang was posthumously awarded the ROTC Medal for Heroism and admitted to West Point—a very rare act granted to potential candidates whose actions exemplified the tenets promoted by the academy.[4]

Biography[edit]

Wang was born on November 9, 2002[5] in Brooklyn, New York City to Chinese-American restaurateurs. He had two younger brothers.[6] He was raised in Broward County, Florida, and attended Pentab Academy from pre-kindergarten to second grade, a private academy in Miami Gardens.[2] Wang's family owned a Chinese restaurant across from his former private school. Wang attended Westchester Elementary School and Sawgrass Springs Middle School, both a part of Broward County Public Schools, for his pre-secondary education.[7] He began his freshman year at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in 2017, and was an active cadet for the Junior Reserve Officers' Training Corps (JROTC).[8] Wang was planning on attending The United States Military Academy and contributing "service to our country", his neighbor Jesse Pan said.[2] Wang spoke English and Chinese.[7] Wang was wearing his JROTC shirt when he died.[9]

Death and funeral[edit]

On February 14, 2018, Nikolas Cruz, a 19-year-old former student at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, started shooting on campus after pulling the fire alarm. Wang was in the study hall on campus when the school went into code red lock down.[7] While wearing his Junior Reserve Officers' Training Corps uniform, he was reported to have held the door open for students and teachers to escape a building while they heard gunfire.[10] He was fatally shot by Cruz and rushed to a local hospital. His family thought he was missing until they were informed he was killed in the shooting.[11] Wang died at the age of 15 and Cruz was later arrested and charged with 17 counts of capital murder. His funeral was on February 20 in Coral Springs.[12][13]

Legacy[edit]

After Wang's death, several of his friends, family members and former teachers have spoken out about him, with people describing him as a hero as a result of his actions during the Stoneman Douglas High School shooting.[14] Ernie Rospierski, a history teacher at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, said that:

A petition on the We the People petitioning site of the official whitehouse.gov website was created to ask the United States Armed Forces to have Wang buried with military honors for his role in holding the door open for students and teachers during the shooting.[16] "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,"[16] the petition reads. The petition has received over 100,000 signatures, enough to receive a response from the White House,[17] though it is unclear when the petition will receive an answer, as the Trump administration has not answered any petitions on the site since President Donald Trump has been in office due to site maintenance.[18] Several top posts on /r/military, a military message board on Reddit, contained information regarding Wang's funeral for service members and veterans, and a donation program was organized by service members that will be sent to his family.[16]

Awards and recognitions[edit]

The United States Military Academy posthumously awarded Wang a certificate of appointment and accepted him into the academy as the class of 2025.

Wang was formally recognized for his actions during the shooting in several ways. At the federal level, Wang was awarded the ROTC Medal for Heroism by the U.S. Army.[19] He was also posthumously admitted to the United States Military Academy for the class of 2025, a "very rare" act.[4] In addition, the state of Florida honored Wang by ordering the Florida National Guard to attend his funeral.[20][21] In regards to their decision to posthumously admit Wang, the U.S. Military Academy stated that, "It was an appropriate way for USMA to honor this brave young man."[22][23]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. 張紫茵 (2018-02-21). "〈華裔生佛州槍擊案捨己救人 洛杉磯華人集會悼念〉". 蘋果日報(Apple Daily). LA.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Diaz, Johnny (15 February 2018). "Peter Wang, Florida school shooting victim: Brave teen seen holding door open for others during shooting". Sun Sentinel. Retrieved 20 February 2018.
  3. Cardona, Alexi (15 February 2018). "Peter Wang: Online petition for full military burial for JROTC student who 'died a hero'". USA Today. Retrieved 20 February 2018.
  4. 4.0 4.1 Svrluga, Susan (February 20, 2018). "'Heroic': West Point admits a student who was killed in the Parkland shooting". The Washington Post.
  5. "In Memory of Peter Wang". Kraeer Funeral Home and Cremation Center. Retrieved 21 February 2018.
  6. "Friends Want Military Honors For JROTC Cadet Killed In Florida Massacre". CBS New York. 19 February 2018. Retrieved 20 February 2018.
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 Harris, Alex (19 February 2018). "Peter Wang, who died a 'hero' in the Parkland shooting, remembered as brave and funny". Miami Herald. Retrieved 20 February 2018.
  8. Rozsa, Lori (19 February 2018). "'Selfless service': JROTC remembers three slain in Florida high school shooting". Washington Post. Retrieved 20 February 2018.
  9. Viteri, Andrea Torres, Amy. "School shooting victim dreamed of going to West Point". www.local10.com.
  10. "These Are the Lives Lost in the Parkland High School Shooting". NBC 6 South Florida. 15 February 2018.
  11. Hussain, Selima (18 February 2018). "Petition: JROTC Cadet Killed In Stoneman Shooting Deserves Full Honors Military Burial". NBC 6 South Florida. Retrieved 20 February 2018.
  12. Bonvillian, Crystal (19 February 2018). "Petition seeks military burial for JROTC cadet who died saving fellow students". WSB-TV. Retrieved 20 February 2018.
  13. Plasencia, Amanda; Hamacher, Brian (20 February 2018). "Loved Ones Hold Funeral Services for Parkland Victim Peter Wang, Await Word on Military Burial". NBC News. Retrieved 21 February 2018.
  14. Barszewski, Larry (18 February 2018). "Peter Wang: Petition seeks full honors military funeral for Douglas JROTC cadet who 'died a hero'". Sun Sentinel. Retrieved 20 February 2018.
  15. Morgan, David (19 February 2018). "Heroic Florida teacher: "There's no point to somebody having an AR-15"". CBS News. Retrieved 20 February 2018.
  16. 16.0 16.1 16.2 Willingham, AJ (19 February 2018). "People are calling for this Florida shooting victim to be buried with military honors". CNN. Retrieved 20 February 2018.
  17. Pusatory, Matt (21 February 2018). "Westpoint admits Parkland JROTC student who died saving classmates". KHQ Local News. Retrieved 22 February 2018.
  18. Nelson, Steven (1 February 2018). "White House reopens petition website that promises official responses". The Washington Examiner. Retrieved 22 February 2018.
  19. "Florida shooting: West Point admits murdered hero". BBC. 20 February 2018. Retrieved 21 February 2018.
  20. Panzino, Charlsy (21 February 2018). "Army honors three JROTC cadets killed in Florida shooting". ArmyTimes. Retrieved 21 February 2018.
  21. Siemaszko, Corky (20 February 2018). "West Point military academy admits Parkland student Peter Wang who died saving classmates in mass shooting". NBC News. Retrieved 21 February 2018.
  22. Neuman, Scott (21 February 2018). "Army Awards Medal For Heroism To 3 JROTC Cadets Killed In Florida Shooting Facebook Twitter Flipboard Email". NPR. Retrieved 21 February 2018.
  23. "USMA Press Release on Peter Wang" (PDF). United States Military Academy. Retrieved 21 February 2018.

External links[edit]


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