Vivek Lall with Buzz Aldrin / Image-LinkedIn
A bronze statue honoring the second man on the moon, Buzz Aldrin, was recently unveiled at the Texas A&M-RELLIS campus in his presence. The eight-and-half-foot statue is modelled after the young fighter pilot and features a depiction of the Apollo 11 flight path that he flew with Neil Armstrong and Michael Collins.
Vivek Lall, chief executive of General Atomics Global Corporation, was present at the unveiling ceremony along with Aldrin’s good friends and over 200 well-wishers.
Vivek Lall speaking at the unveiling ceremony.
Describing Aldrin as “a true galactic pioneer who has inspired generations of people all around the world,” Lall applauded Aldrin for his lengthy career in the Air Force, NASA and private industry and his advocacy for further space exploration, especially a human mission to Mars.
He also thanked Texas A&M, a Space Grant university since 1989, for its role with NASA “in the revival of space exploration and applied cutting-edge science.”
Edwin E. Aldrin, Jr., earned the nickname “BUZZ” when he used to buzz over the post oaks of the Brazos River Valley while training to be a fighter pilot at Bryan Air Force Base. He flew 66 combat missions during the Korean War, shooting down two enemy MIG-15 fighters, and later served as a pilot instructor at the base before flying to the moon in 1969.
“This is a meaningful day for me, and one I will never forget,” Aldrin told the crowd. Speaking on behalf of him, Navy Lt. Cmdr. Robert Charles said the statue “represents all those who climbed into a cockpit to do battle and those who were at home praying for them. It represents those who fly for this country and rise to defend freedom against whatever and whoever threatens us.”