Peter Wang, the 15-year-old JROTC member credited for saving lives during last week’s deadly school shooting in Parkland, Florida, was buried in his uniform Tuesday, less than a week after he died holding the door open for escaping students.
According to WTVJ, an emotional service was punctuated by the eulogies of several classmates whose lives Wang touched.
“He was like a brother to me and possibly one of the kindest people I ever met,” said Xi Chen.
Another student, Jared Burns, said Wang would remain a hero for “as long as we remember him.”
Wang’s mother, Hui Wang, was among the distraught loved ones in attendance. She reportedly required assistance entering a waiting vehicle as she struggled to maintain her composure.
“I watched you walking to school on February 14,” she said at the funeral. “Now my body is bleeding in unbearable pain. Baby, am I in a nightmare? This is unbearable. Baby, hold my hand, reach me. Baby, I’m stuck in a nightmare. Lead the way out.”
The student, who had been at the center of an online effort to convince the military to bury him with honors, received a posthumous letter of admission to the U.S. Military Academy at West Point on the day of his funeral.
He was also awarded an Army medal of heroism, according to the Daily Mail.
According to the academy, such offers have been extended “in very rare instances for those candidates or potential candidates whose actions exemplified the tenets of Duty, Honor and Country.”
Tens of thousands signed a White House petition seeking a burial with full military honors, though as of this writing it had not yet attained the number needed to prompt an executive response.
“His selfless and heroic actions have led to the survival of dozens in the area,” the petition read. “Wang died a hero, and deserves to be treated as such, and deserves a full honors military burial.”
Fellow JROTC cadet Victoria Downing echoed that sentiment in comments she made in the wake of the shooting.
“He died in uniform and he saved people’s lives,” he said. “He deserves to have a full military burial. I want him to be remembered as a hero because that’s exactly who he was.”
[Featured image: Peter Wang/Associated Press]