Fifteen-year-old Peter Wang was reportedly killed while holding a door open so students could flee from gunfire during the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting. On the day of the shooting, he was wearing his uniform for JROTC; the cadet dreamed of attending the prestigious military academy West Point after graduation. When news spread of Wang’s heroism and military aspirations, veterans and service members rallied together to honor the teen the best way they knew how: in uniform.
According to Task & Purpose, Reddit was key for veteran organizers to lead the charge in honoring Peter Wang’s life. The online forum allowed military members to communicate about potential ways to honor the slain teen — everything from shipping medals and commemorative military coins to the Wang family to showing up to pay respects at Peter’s funeral service in full dress uniform.
The 15-year-old was laid to rest on Feb. 20 surrounded by family, friends, and many veterans and current service members. He, along with two other slain JROTC cadets who were murdered in the school shooting, was posthumously awarded the US Army’s Medal of Heroism for his acts of bravery. West Point also presented Peter’s parents with a Class of 2025 admission letter for their lost son, who strove to learn among the university’s ranks.
The emotional photos below showcase only a portion of the veteran presence at Wang’s funeral, and they will undoubtedly bring tears to your eyes. Keep scrolling to see how veterans paid their respects, and then find out how you can join Wang’s classmates and bring an end to gun violence.