Biden, Other Mourners Choke Up During Glenn Tribute

Biden says Glenn 'defined what it meant to be an American'
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Dec 17, 2016 5:15 PM CST

(Newser) – The nation's vice president and a retired Marine Corps general were among the dignitaries, family members, and other mourners who choked up Saturday during a memorial tribute to the late space hero John Glenn. The AP reports roughly 2,500 people gathered on the Ohio State University campus for "a celebration of life" for the former fighter pilot, history-making astronaut, and longtime US senator. Glenn was remembered not only for bravery, but for his thoughtful consideration for others, his integrity, and his optimism. "I think John defined what it meant to be an American," Joe Biden said. "The thing I liked most about John was that he knew from his upbringing that ordinary Americans could do extraordinary things."

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Retired USMC Gen. John Dailey said Glenn will be missed and never forgotten. "We had John for 95 great years and it still wasn't enough," Dailey said. Glenn died Dec. 8 at age 95. He was the first American to orbit the Earth in 1962, and then in 1998 became the oldest person in space at 77. Ethel Kennedy, widow of close Glenn ally Robert F. Kennedy, and their son Robert F. Kennedy Jr. were among the mourners present, along with Ohio political leaders including Gov. John Kasich. NASA Administrator Charles Bolden Jr. said the US space program is "standing on John Glenn's shoulders" with its current mission to Mars. "It was courage, grace and humility John displayed throughout his life that lifted him above the stars," Bolden said. (Read more John Glenn stories.)

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