NAVAL AIR STATION PENSACOLA, Fla. (NNS) -- The National Naval Aviation Museum recently concluded its two-day 24th annual Naval Aviation Symposium, which featured the enshrinement of Neil Armstrong, who first learned to fly when he was in high school.
"I would like to thank the Naval Aviation Museum for allowing me to join those remarkable individuals who are enshrined in the Hall of Honor," said Armstrong, the first man to set foot on the moon's surface. "My Navy and my country have given me extraordinary opportunities and I have had the benefit of working with amazing individuals."
Along with his achievements as an astronaut, Armstrong also served as a flying Midshipman and logged 78 combat missions during the Korean War.
The Naval Aviation Hall of Honor was created in 1979 and has selected 84 people for enshrinement.
"The symposium is also a valuable way to educate the public and service members on Naval Aviation's history and achievements," said retired Marine Corps Col. Denis J. Kiely, senior editor, Naval Aviation Museum Foundation and symposium coordinator.
The symposium's other highlights included performances by the Naval Air Station New Orleans Navy Band followed by themed sessions featuring prominent speakers such as author Steven Coonts, who gave a speech at a luncheon on Thursday.
The themed sessions topics included "Genesis: The Birth of Naval Aviation (1898-1914)," "Answering the Call: Naval Aviation's Dynamic Expansion for the Great War" and "Naval Aviation: Issues and Answers." More than 4,000 people were at the event, which sold out both days.
"As for the service members, especially the young officers who are going through flight training, this event is important for their professional military education," Kiely said. "It's part of their heritage, to learn about those who have preceded them. It also teaches them courage, devotion and duty. It also shows the public that Naval aviation has a very rich tradition."
According to Kiely, this year's symposium leads into next year's event which will celebrate the first 100 years of naval aviation and is scheduled for May 2011.
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