MONTCLAIR, N.J. — A space hero was welcomed back to his hometown Friday.
Students walking in the footsteps of Buzz Aldrin — the second man to step on the moon — cheered as their New Jersey school was renamed after the famous alumnus.
“I’m mountie born, mountie bred, and when I die, I’m mountie dead,” Aldrin exclaimed during a morning ceremony.
Montclair’s Mount Hebron Middle School is now officially the Buzz Aldrin Middle School, and students and parents alike couldn’t be happier about it.
“My son loves space. Absolutely loves space. And when we realized that Buzz was from this town, I get really choked up about it,” one mother told PIX11. “When we realized that Buzz was from this town and he was a huge hero of his since he was 2 … he started thinking, he’s from my town. I could go on the moon.”
Aldrin reminisced as he credited his experience at the school with fueling his interest in science and math.
The West Point and MIT graduate followed Neil Armstrong down the ladder of the lunar module to walk on the moon in 1969.
Aldrin also visited Hackensack UMC Mountainside Hospital, where he was born in 1930.