West Point Found a Place Among Its Ranks for Fallen Parkland JROTC Cadet


The fallen Parkland JROTC cadet who was killed during the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida will be accepted to the U.S. Army West Point class of 2025.

Peter Wang was a member of the Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps and dreamed of going to West Point to be of “service to our country,” according to the Sun-Sentinel.

According to Brittany Wallman from the South Florida Sun-Sentinel, Wang’s family will receive his acceptance letter and honorarium tokens.

“It was an appropriate way for USMA to honor this brave young man,” West Point’s statement said, according to the Army Times. “West Point has given posthumous offers of admissions in very rare instances for those candidates or potential candidates whose actions exemplified the tenets of duty, honor and country.”

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Wang died on Feb. 14 in his JRTOC uniform holding the door for other students, the Sun-Sentinel reported.

The massacre took the lives of 17 individuals from the Douglas community.

Lin Chen, Wang’s cousin, told the Sun-Sentinel that she wasn’t surprised to hear of Wang’s actions.

“He is so brave. He is the person who is genuinely kind to everyone. He doesn’t care about popularity,” Chen said. “He always liked to cheer people up. He is like the big brother everyone wished they had.”

According to local ABC affiliate WPLG, students at Douglas remember Wang as a selfless individual.

“I want people to know that he died a hero, that he died saving many people,”classmate and friend Aiden Ortiz told the station.

Another student, Rachel Kuperman, described how Wang had acted selflessly one day prior to the shooting.

“I forgot my lunch that day and he went to the vending machine with me and he bought me Sprite and candy and snacks,” she recalled. “He put others before himself.”

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An online petition was started on Friday asking Congress to “Allow for Cadet Peter Wang to receive a Full Honors Military Burial.”

“He was a Jrotc Cadet who was last seen, in uniform, holding doors open and thus allowing other students, teachers, and staff to flee to safety. Wang was killed in the process,” the petition reads. “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.”

The JROTC does not provide basic training, so Wang was not technically in the military, according to Fox News. In order to have a military burial, the government would need to step in.

The petition has received 114,125, which was more than the 100,000 signature goal by March 18 to get a response from the White House.

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Erin Coates was an editor for The Western Journal for over two years before becoming a news writer. A University of Oregon graduate, Erin has conducted research in data journalism and contributed to various publications as a writer and editor.
Erin Coates was an editor for The Western Journal for over two years before becoming a news writer. She grew up in San Diego, California, proceeding to attend the University of Oregon and graduate with honors holding a degree in journalism. During her time in Oregon, Erin was an associate editor for Ethos Magazine and a freelance writer for Eugene Magazine. She has conducted research in data journalism, which has been published in the book “Data Journalism: Past, Present and Future.” Erin is an avid runner with a heart for encouraging young girls and has served as a coach for the organization Girls on the Run. As a writer and editor, Erin strives to promote social dialogue and tell the story of those around her.
Tucson, Arizona
Graduated with Honors
Bachelor of Arts in Journalism, University of Oregon
Books Written
Contributor for Data Journalism: Past, Present and Future
Prescott, Arizona
Languages Spoken
English, French
Topics of Expertise
Politics, Health, Entertainment, Faith