Columbia native Charles Bolden honored with Wright Brothers Memorial Trophy

COLUMBIA, SC (WOLO)– A local veteran and former astronaut will be honored in Washington D.C. Friday with a special award. Major General Charles Bolden will receive the 2020 Wright Brothers Memorial Trophy at the 73rd Annual Wright Memorial Dinner.

“I can’t begin to thank the Wright Brothers Memorial Trophy selection committee for making this prestigious honor possible,” said Bolden.  “As this honor continues to sink in, I am humbled and feeling even more the effect of the ‘imposter syndrome’ as I think of the many true heroes of aviation who preceded me with this award.  This is an incredible honor and I really look forward to trying to live up to its legacy and inspire many future Wright Brothers Memorial Trophy winners.”

The National Aeronautic Association says he’s being honored for “his impassioned commitment to public service in aviation and aerospace as an aviator, astronaut, and leader and his dedication to excellence for the advancement of all humanity.”

“The Wright Brothers Memorial Trophy is our greatest individual honor,” said NAA President Greg Principato.  “When you take into account Charlie Bolden’s career and commitment, he truly embodies what this award is meant to recognize.  In every aspect of his career he has served causes and missions greater than himself. His example will inspire future generations.”

Bolden was raised in Columbia and served our country as a Naval Aviator. He later became an astronaut for NASA and served as NASA’s Administrator before retiring in 2017.

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