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Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz

Hero Pin Presentation to Astronaut Reid Wiseman
February 10, 2015

Good morning, everyone, and thanks for joining us. Whether you use the Oxford or Webster Dictionaries, or even, by definition, a hero is someone who is admired for their great achievements.

Our heroes can be soldiers, first responders, doctors, scientists, activists, writers, athletes – the list goes on. What’s most important is that our heroes inspire us to aim high, reach for our goals, and make a difference in the world. For more than half a century, kids and adults alike have been inspired, if not mesmerized, by the extraordinary work of astronauts.

About Reid Wiseman

Looking back, space exploration stands out as one of the greatest achievements in history – one that has revolutionized human civilization and given us many of the wonders of the modern world in which we live. And so it is fitting that we gather today to honor an American hero and a son of Baltimore County, Astronaut and U.S. Navy Commander Reid Wiseman, for his stellar accomplishments both up in space and down here on Earth.

A graduate of Baltimore County’s own Dulaney High School and a former Baltimore County 911 Center intern, Reid Wiseman went on to earn a bachelor’s degree in Computer and Systems Engineering. Though unable to recall the exact year of his internship, his 911 supervisors told us he was so far advanced that they really had no idea how to use his talents.

Continuing his path of excellence, after college, Reid joined the United States Navy, beginning a career as a naval aviator, test pilot, and project officer that included deployments to the Middle East and South America and earned him multiple awards – and he did all this while earning a master’s degree in Systems Engineering from Johns Hopkins University.

Commander Wiseman’s dedicated efforts in the military and academia led to the opportunity of a lifetime in 2009 when NASA selected him for their highly competitive astronaut training program, which he completed with flying colors. As an astronaut, last year Commander Wiseman spent nearly six months in outer space on Expeditions 40 and 41. While on the International Space Station, his job was to make repairs and conduct research and experiments that will further not only our understanding of space, but also our place in it. It’s vastly important work that will affect our world – our science, our technology, and our possibilities – in the years to come.

It’s also worth noting that fewer than 600 people in all of human history have experienced spaceflight, and only about 200 people have been on the International Space Station. Commander Reid Wiseman is one of them.

And to think, his journey started right here in our community, when he explored Baltimore County’s rolling hills, lakes and forests as a kid…when his parents packed him into the car to go see the Blue Angels in Annapolis every spring…and when he learned in our schools the very science and math that would become the foundation for his astronomical career as an engineer, aviator and space traveler.

Every day, teachers try to help their students understand the importance of studying science, technology, engineering and math. For those students who question the practical value in all that hard work, Reid Wiseman proves that it pays to listen to your teachers.

Not only are these skills necessary to compete in the 21st century job market, but they also can take you to places most of us can hardly imagine. They are the tools you can use to travel deep down to the ocean floor or, as Reid Wiseman has, up into outer space.

From that vantage point, he’s seen firsthand just how small our world really is. He knows that, here on the ground, we must remember always to look up and consider the endless possibilities.

Reid Wiseman Day Proclaimed

Commander Wiseman, it is my pleasure to thank you for your service and present you with this Baltimore County Hero Pin as a symbol of our gratitude and admiration. Now, any official Baltimore County Hero certainly deserves their very own day to mark the occasion. Therefore, it is my honor to present you with this Executive Proclamation designating February 10, 2015, as “Reid Wiseman Day” in Baltimore County.

Again, thank you, Reid, for your service and for taking the time to be here with us today. Welcome home, Commander. And thank all of you for joining us to celebrate this truly remarkable Baltimore County Hero.

Revised December 5, 2016         



County Executive,
Don Mohler
Phone: 410-887-2450

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