Famed Astronaut John Glenn Laid to Rest at Arlington National Cemetery

Famed Astronaut John Glenn Laid to Rest at Arlington National Cemetery

 

Famed Astronaut John Glenn Laid to Rest at Arlington National Cemetery

The flag-wrapped coffin of John Glenn, the first American to orbit the earth, was covered in plastic to protect him from constant rain as he was carried in a horse crate to his final resting place in Arlington National Cemetery. Later, his widow, Annie, kissed the navy on the cheek that presented him with the folded flag.

Glenn, who died Dec. 8 at age 95, was buried Thursday at a private funeral in Arlington, attended by relatives and guests. Her family scheduled the service for what would have been the wedding anniversary of John and Annie Glenn.

The former fighter pilot, history-making astronaut and longtime Democratic U.S. senator from Ohio had already been remembered in his home state, with a procession through the heart of downtown Columbus and a memorial service that drew roughly 2,500 people, including then-Vice President Joe Biden.

Thousands of mourners also visited his casket as it lay in repose at the Ohio Statehouse for a longer period than assassinated President Abraham Lincoln and others in history.

 

Famed Astronaut John Glenn Laid to Rest at Arlington National Cemetery

Those close to the family said they felt a sense of duty by allowing the public to mark Glenn’s pace with the events in Ohio, but Thursday’s burial service was thought of as more personal mourning. It was closed to the public and the media, although the military made a part of it available to watch via streaming.

Annie Glenn, 97, wore a red dress and held a single red rose while sitting under a tent in the tomb, along with the two sons of the couple, John David and Carolyn. She spoke with apparent warmth to the Navy who presented the flag to her, and their faces almost touched her before kissing her.

Six sailors in dress uniforms carried Glenn’s coffin to the grave and left it before carefully folding the flag. A military trumpeter played “Griffins,” the Marines fired three ceremonial rounds of their rifles, and the mourners recited Psalm 23. No one in the family made any observations during that part of the service that was enlivened.

Related: ‘The Last True National Hero’: John Glenn Dead at 95

Glenn’s pioneering Mercury 7 flight in 1962 made him an immediate national hero. He became the oldest man in space when he returned aboard the Space Shuttle Discovery in 1998 at the age of 77.

He had many achievements out of his career as an astronaut. He flew 149 missions as a Navy fighter pilot in World War II and Korea, broke the transcontinental airspeed record, served 24 years in the United States Senate, and founded John Glenn College of Public Affairs at Ohio State University .

In honor of Glenn, President Donald Trump ordered flags in federal entities and institutions flown to headquarters on Thursday, and Ohio Gov. John Kasich did the same on public lands and buildings in Glenn’s home state.

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