Out-of-this-world mural dedicated to Plattsburgh native, NASA astronaut

Published: Jul. 5, 2021 at 4:37 PM EDT
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PLATTSBURGH, N.Y. (WCAX) - A crowd came out to see an out-of-this-world mural dedicated in Plattsburgh on Sunday. “Reach for the Stars: The Michael Anderson Mural” honors the Plattsburgh native and NASA astronaut.

Anderson was born at the Plattsburgh Air Force Base Hospital in 1959. He followed in his father’s footsteps and joined the Air Force. That’s what brought him back to the base in the early ’90s.

“We were amazed,” Anderson’s wife, Sandy, said.

While stationed in Plattsburgh, Anderson and his wife, Sandy, made lifelong friends and had their first child, Kaycee.

“He flew the KC-135s here and that’s where I get my name, from those airplanes,” daughter Kaycee said.

The Anderson family packed up and headed to Huston after getting the call from NASA.

“This is something he had strived for and thought about from a young age,” Sandy explained.

Michael Anderson died in 2003 in the Columbia shuttle disaster.

To honor his courage, his sacrifice and his legacy, he will forever look over the Lake City.

“It was everything I hoped it would be,” Kaycee said.

Michael’s wife, sister, kids and great-nephew were back in Plattsburgh for the first time since they left to see the mural in his honor and to be the grand marshals of Plattsburgh’s Fourth of July parade.

“Seeing people come out to just welcome and support our family was awesome,” Kaycee said. “I’ve never felt anything like it.”

The family was presented with a key to the city and a North Country welcome.

“You know, never in a million years, here we are how many years later? And we’re painting a mural of him. I just thought that was such an honor,” Sandy said.

To forever remember the mark Lt. Col. Anderson left in Plattsburgh.

“Michael was very modest, he was very unassuming,” Sandy said. “He never bragged about what he did and I think he just would like people to get to know him, he was a regular guy doing a job he loved.”

Inspiring those who see the mural to reach for the stars and live life with no borders.

“He also said the future is really bright,” said Julia Devine of Outside Art. “And I think looking at all of us here today, it really is.”

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