Essex County News

Buzz Aldrin to Make Several Stops During Montclair Visit, Sept. 16

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Credits: NASA
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Credits: Official Buzz Aldrin Website
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MONTCLAIR, NJ - During the day-long visit to his hometown of Montclair, the famed astronaut pioneer Buzz Aldrin will make several planned stops that are open to the public.

He will begin his day attending the official dedication of the Buzz Aldrin Middle School, which will take place on September 16 at 9:30 am on the front steps of the former Mount Hebron Middle School, 173 Bellevue Ave. in Montclair. A school that Aldrin attended as a youth.

HackensackUMC Mountainside Hospital has also announced that Aldrin, one of first men to walk on the moon, will return to Mountainside Hospital where he was born 86 years ago.

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The visit will begin on Friday, September 16 at 1:15 pm. where Aldrin will tour the newly renovated OB/GYN department at 2:15pm. Elected officials, local dignitaries, hospital leadership and staff will be on hand to welcome the famous astronaut and the hospital will unveil a plaque to honor the local hero, hospital officials announce.

John Fromhold, CEO of HackensackUMC Mountainside Hospital, said of the visit, "We are proud that hometown hero Buzz Aldrin was born right here at Mountainside Hospital. His journey from Mountainside to the Moon and back is a moving testament to the potential of every baby that starts their future here. We look forward to welcoming him to our state of the art OB/GYN."

The capital improvements made to the OB/GYN department have been redesigned to include private, spa-inspired rooms, upgraded facilities, fresh a la carte meals and an overall enhanced experience for expectant mothers and their families. 

Aldrin was born at Mountainside Hospital on January 20, 1930 and was raised in Montclair and educated in the Montclair Public Schools. Hospital officials state that the visit to the OB/GYN department coincides with HackensackUMC Mountainside Hospital's lead sponsorship for the dedication of Buzz Aldrin Middle School. 

Aldrin advanced in his studies in Montclair, having graduated one year early from Montclair High School in 1947, according to his bio. He went on to attend the US Military Academy at West Point, graduating third in his class with a BS in mechanical engineering.

According to his published biography, Aldrin went on to join the Air Force where he flew F86 Sabre Jets in 66 combat missions in Korea, shot down two MIG-15′s, and was decorated with the Distinguished Flying Cross. After a tour of duty in Germany flying F100′s, he earned earn his Doctorate of Science in Astronautics at MIT and wrote his thesis on Manned Orbital Rendezvous.

Selected by NASA in 1963 into the third group of astronauts, Aldrin is credited as being the first with a doctorate and became known as “Dr. Rendezvous.” The docking and rendezvous techniques he devised for spacecraft in Earth and lunar orbit became critical to the success of the Gemini and Apollo programs, and are still used today, officials announce.

On July 20, 1969, Buzz and Neil Armstrong made their historic Apollo 11 moonwalk, becoming the first two humans to set foot on another world. Aldrin is now known as the second man to ever step foot on the moon at 03:15:16 on July 21, 1969.

Upon returning from the moon, Buzz was decorated with the Presidential Medal of Freedom and numerous awards all over the world. In 2011 along with his Apollo 11 crew mates Neil Armstrong and Michael Collins, he also received the Congressional Gold Medal.

Aldrin went on to author 9 books, including a children’s book, Welcome to Mars: Making a Home on the Red Planet and his newest NY Times and Washington Post Bestseller, “No Dream Is Too High: Life Lessons from a Man Who Walked on the Moon”.

The hospital has committed $10,000 to underwrite the cost of renaming Mount Hebron Middle School. HackensackUMC Mountainside Hospital and announced that they will also be working in partnership with the Montclair School District to create a Buzz Aldrin STEM education program that will highlight the relationship between technology and medicine.      

There will also be a dedication celebration in the evening entitled, Party on the Moon…Like It's 1969, from 7 to 10 p.m. at the Commonwealth Club, 26 Northview Avenue where Aldrin will make a special appearance at 8 p.m. 

This fundraising party will feature food, an open beer/wine bar, a DJ and auctions. It is open to adults only and guests are asked to come in casual attire, or wear red, white and blue. 

Tickets are $50 a person and are available on www.brownpapertickets.com— search "Buzz Aldrin Party!" 

Funds raised will go towards school STEM programs. Donations will be accepted for those who wish to donate. Mail to Buzz Aldrin Dedication, care of MFEE, 100 Chestnut Street, Montclair NJ 07042. Please write Buzz Aldrin Dedication in the memo field.

For the latest information, please visit and like the Buzz Dedication Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/Buzz-Aldrin-Middle-School-Dedication-140107346425503/

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