As the country continues to mourn the 21 victims killed in the mass school shooting in Uvalde, Texas, on May 24, the Girl Scouts organization is honoring one of its own.
Amerie Jo Garza, one of the students killed, has been posthumously rewarded the highest award in the organization: the Bronze Cross. Having joined the Girl Scouts in December, the 10-year-old was reportedly known to defend her classmates from bullies and always watching out for her brother Zayne, 3.
"The Bronze Cross is awarded for saving or attempting to save life at the risk of the Girl Scout's own life," the Girl Scouts of Southwest Texas said on Twitter. “Amerie did all she could to save the lives of her classmates and teachers. It was our honor as Amerie’s council to present the Bronze Cross to her family, and Girl Scouts will continue to pay tribute at her funeral services today with a Presentation of Colors.”
Last week, Girl Scouts of the USA posthumously bestowed upon Amerie Jo Garza, 10, of Uvalde, Texas, one of the highest honors in Girl Scouting: the Bronze Cross. The Bronze Cross is awarded for saving or attempting to save life at the risk of the Girl Scout’s own life. 1/3 pic.twitter.com/bFjz0I4awa
— Girl Scouts of Southwest Texas (@girlscoutsswtx) May 31, 2022
As the Associated Press reports, hundreds of mourners turned out for Garza’s funeral on Wednesday — the first since the massacre. More are planned in the coming weeks.
On May 24, Garza was attending her fourth grade class when a gunman, 18-year-old Salvador Ramos, barricaded himself in the room and opened fire.
Amerie’s stepfather, Angel Garza, told CNN last week that Amerie was attempting to call 911 on her phone when the gunman shot her. She had been gifted the phone for her 10th birthday, just two weeks prior. “She just died trying to save her classmates,” he said. “She just wanted to save everyone.”
Hundreds of mourners gathered for the funeral Mass for Amerie Jo Garza, a fourth-grader who was killed in the school shooting in Uvalde, Texas.
Mourner Erika Santiago described Amerie as “so humble and charismatic but full of life.” https://t.co/9n6RksfxZb pic.twitter.com/KXERuQ6Iin
— The Associated Press (@AP) June 1, 2022
Amerie’s grandmother Berlinda Arreola also expressed her appreciation for the award, telling People magazine last week, "Our baby gave up her life for this, but she deserved it.”
Following the news of Garza's death, her local Girl Scouts chapter, Girl Scouts of Southwest Texas, paid tribute to her heroism while also acknowledging the impact she had on her community.
"Our hearts are broken for her family and friends, along with all of those who have lost loved ones during this tragedy," the statement on their website read. "Dozens of our girls, volunteers, and staff have now lost friends or family members, and we are hurting alongside them."
"Amerie was a bright and outgoing fourth-grader who loved Play-Doh, playing with friends at recess — and being a Girl Scout," the statement continued. "She was proud of the badges she earned. She completed her Girl Scout bridging ceremony last week, and Tuesday at school had received an award for making the A and B honor roll."
Yahoo Life has reached out to Girl Scouts USA for a comment and will update here with any response.
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