Peter Wang is a hero, and members of our military are rallying online to honor him and support his family.
Wang, a 15-year-old freshman and cadet in the JROTC program at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, was killed during the shooting at his school last week.
Multiple witnesses describe Wang wearing his gray JROTC shirt and helping hold open the door for his fellow classmates, allowing them to escape before him, when he was shot and killed.
“He is so brave,” Wang’s cousin Lin Chen told the Sun Sentinel, noting that she was not surprised to hear of his heroism. “He is the person who is genuinely kind to everyone. He doesn’t care about popularity. He always liked to cheer people up. He is like the big brother everyone wished they had.”
Members of r/military, the forum on the Reddit website dedicated to discussion of military issues, started brainstorming ideas to honor Wang yesterday.
As a cadet in the JROTC, Wang was not yet an official member of the United States military, and so would not be entitled to the military funeral honors offered to service members and veterans, but his school’s JROTC have a protocol to conduct the funeral service and provide an honor guard.
As one redditor, HighNoon44, commented, “Peter embodied the Army values and he was our brother.”
In addition, the posters at r/military are organizing two main efforts. Those who are able to attend Wang’s funeral next week will attend in uniform. The service is open to the public and will be held at the Kraeer Funeral Home in Coral Springs on Tuesday, February 20, with visitation starting at 11:00 am ET and the service at 1:00 pm ET. Full details are available here.
Those who cannot attend are sending military patches and coins to Wang’s family. For privacy reasons, they are not posting the family’s address but have a web form where those interested can submit their email address to get mailing instructions.
Wang’s family was so supportive of his participation in JROTC they have decided to donate any funds they receive from the GoFundMe fundraiser in his name to the Stoneman Douglas JROTC program.
JROTC freshman Peter Wang may not have actually served in the U.S. armed forces, but that's not stopping the members of r/military from arranging a uniformed presence at his funeral https://t.co/vtEaGuool4 pic.twitter.com/SVNZ1sUpuN
— Jared Keller (@jaredbkeller) February 17, 2018
The shooter who stole the lives of seventeen innocent people deserves no fame or recognition. Let’s do our best to forget his name and remember instead heroes like Peter Wang.
May God bless his family and friends, and may the outpouring of support from across America provide some small comfort to them in their grief.
If you are a member of the military or a veteran who would like to participate in this effort to honor Wang’s legacy and support his family, please visit the r/military forum here.
Follow Sarah Rumpf on Twitter: @rumpfshaker.