Glenn laid to rest in Ar­ling­ton

97-year-old widow of as­tro­naut hon­ored

The Washington Times Daily - - METRO - BY BEN NUCKOLS

The flag-draped cas­ket of John Glenn, the first Amer­i­can to or­bit the earth, was cov­ered in plas­tic to pro­tect it from a steady rain as it was car­ried on a horse-drawn cais­son to his fi­nal rest­ing place at Ar­ling­ton Na­tional Ceme­tery.

Later, his widow, An­nie, gave a kiss on the cheek to the Ma­rine who pre­sented her with the folded-up flag.

Glenn, who died Dec. 8 at age 95, was laid to rest Thurs­day in a pri­vate burial at Ar­ling­ton at­tended by rel­a­tives and in­vited guests. His fam­ily sched­uled the ser­vice for what would have been John and An­nie Glenn’s 74th wed­ding an­niver­sary.

The for­mer fighter pi­lot, his­tory-mak­ing as­tro­naut and long­time Demo­cratic U.S. sen­a­tor from Ohio al­ready had 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 Joseph R. 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.

Those close to the fam­ily said they felt a sense of duty in al­low­ing the public to mark Glenn’s pass­ing with the Ohio events, but Thurs­day’s burial ser­vice was in­tended as a more per­sonal mourn­ing. It was closed to the public and the news me­dia, although the mil­i­tary made a por­tion of it avail­able for view­ing via livestream.

An­nie Glenn, 97, wore a red dress and held a sin­gle red rose as she sat un­der a tent at the grave site, next to the cou­ple’s two chil­dren, John David and Carolyn. She spoke with ap­par­ent warmth to the Ma­rine who pre­sented her the flag, and their faces nearly touched be­fore plant­ing a kiss on him.

Six Ma­rine pall­bear­ers in dress uni­forms car­ried Glenn’s cas­ket to the grave site and set it down be­fore care­fully fold­ing the flag. A mil­i­tary trum­peter played “Taps,” Marines fired three cer­e­mo­nial rounds from their ri­fles, and mourn­ers re­cited the 23rd Psalm. No one from the fam­ily made any re­marks dur­ing the por­tion of the ser­vice that was livestreamed.

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

He had many ac­com­plish­ments out­side of his ca­reer as an as­tro­naut. He flew 149 mis­sions as a Ma­rine fighter pi­lot in World War II and Korea, broke the transcon­ti­nen­tal air speed record, served 24 years in the U.S. Se­nate and founded the John Glenn Col­lege of Public Affairs at Ohio State Univer­sity.

In Glenn’s honor, Pres­i­dent Trump or­dered flags at fed­eral en­ti­ties and in­sti­tu­tions flown at half-staff Thurs­day, and Ohio Gov. John Ka­sich did the same at public grounds and build­ings across Glenn’s home state.


Ma­rine Corps Com­man­dant Gen. Robert B. Neller salutes An­nie Glenn, widow of John Glenn, fol­low­ing the Amer­i­can flag pre­sen­ta­tion dur­ing the ser­vice for Glenn at Ar­ling­ton Na­tional Ceme­tery.


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