Peter Wang, a 15-year-old JROTC cadet, died in last week’s shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. According to his friends, he was shot repeatedly while holding a door open to let other people escape.
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“He died a gentleman holding the door for other students,” his classmate Kelsey Friend told CNN.
On Tuesday afternoon Wang will be laid to rest, and thousands of people have signed a White House petition asking for him to be buried with military honors.
“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,” reads the petition. As of Monday afternoon, it had more than 25,000 signatures.
A friend of his family told the South Florida Sun Sentinel that Wang’s dream was to attend West Point and serve in the US military.
Whether or not Wang receives full honors at his burial, members of the military community have already organized to pay respects to the teenager and his family.
Several top posts on /r/military, a military message board on Reddit, contain information for service members and veterans who want to attend Wang’s public funeral in uniform. Members have also organized a donation program for military patches and coins that will be sent to the family.