She died keeping the Girl Scout promise. For that, one last badge.

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In mid-May, 10-year-old Amerie Jo Garza participated in a “transition ceremony” with the Girl Scouts, where she and her fellow juniors would have recited the Girl Scout Pledge:

“Upon my honor, I will try to serve God and my country, help people at all times, and live by the Girl Scout Law.”

The fourth-year student had only joined scouts in December, but the ‘help people at all times’ part came naturally. She was known for defending a classmate in Uvalde, Texas from bullies. She always watched over her 3-year-old brother, Zayne. In 2021, she received her school’s Heart of Gold award.

On Friday, less than two weeks after the transition ceremony, Amerie was recognized at another Girl Scout presentation. This time she wasn’t there to accept honours: Elementary school student Robb was posthumously awarded a Bronze Cross, a national award for Boy Scouts who risk their lives to save others, after was shot by an 18-year-old gunman. while apparently trying to call for help. The girl was among 19 children killed in the May 24 school shooting.

In a May 27 letter to Amerie’s family, Girl Scouts executive director Sofia Chang said Amerie “embodies what it means to be a girl of courage, confidence and character who makes the world a better place.” .

“On May 24, 2022, Amerie did everything she could to save the lives of her classmates and teachers and gave her life trying to protect those around her,” Chang wrote. “Through her willingness to take decisive action in the midst of this devastating emergency, Amerie is a true example of leadership in action.”

Amerie’s stepfather, Angel Garza, told CNN’s Anderson Cooper last week that after the shooter entered elementary school, Amerie pulled out his phone and was trying to call 911 when the shooter shot him. Amerie had received the cellphone just two weeks earlier as a gift for her 10th birthday, her stepfather said.

“She just died trying to save her classmates,” Garza said tearfully as she clutched the girl’s photo. “She just wanted to save everyone.”

Official accounts are unclear as to whether Amerie was able to come into contact with the police. On Friday, Texas authorities revealed 911 calls from two students who were desperate for help as the shooter shot their classmates. these two students survived the massacre, according to Steven C. McCraw, director of the Texas Department of Public Safety. McCraw said police made “the wrong decision” by delaying entry to the classroom and eliminating the shooter.

Born in 2012, Amerie grew up in Uvalde surrounded by a large family of grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins. She hated dresses, loved Play-Doh and devoured meals at Chick-fil-A, her favorite restaurant. When she was not in school, she spent her days swimming and drawing. She hoped to one day become an art teacher.

A Girl Scouts of Southwest Texas spokeswoman told the Washington Post in an email that Amerie was a junior who joined the organization around Christmas 2021. On Friday, her family received a Kelly Green Belt worn by Boy Scouts. in his rank, with the bronze cross pinned below his troop number, 7000.

“She deserved it,” Amerie’s grandmother, Berlinda Arreola, told People magazine, which first broke the news of the award. “Our baby gave her life for this, but she deserved it.”

In the days following Amerie’s death, her fellow Girl Scouts paid tribute to her legacy. At a Memorial Day parade in Cranford, NJ on Monday, a group of Brownies marched with felt patches bearing Amerie’s name. pinned to their uniforms. On Tuesday, a troupe in San Antonio wore purple, her favorite color, in her honor.

And as a crowd entered a church later that afternoon for Amerie’s funeral, several girl scouts took their place in the vestibule to pay their respects.

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