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A Year of Rememberance

KAITLIN KLIES Jon Jee Staff Published: December 8, 2017 7:00 AM

A hero of a small town in Ohio was born on July 18th, 1921. In his lifetime he was a marine aviator, engineer, astronaut, and a senator of Ohio. John Herschel Glenn Jr also became the first American to orbit the earth, circling it three times. But sadly on December 8th, 2016 he passed away at the Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center. During Glenn's life, he accomplished many things, but the one thing that set his path for becoming a hero to everyone was his flight on Friendship 7 on February 20th, 1962.

He was just a small town boy who grew up in New Concord, Ohio. Attending primary and secondary school there as well as attending Muskingum College earning a bachelor's degree of science in engineering. After graduating college, he joined the Marine Corps. During his service he flew in over 59 missions during World War 2 and 63 missions during Korea. After he became an astronaut, he not only took his flight on Friendship 7 in 1962 but he also ventured into space about 36 years becoming the oldest person to go into space at 77 years old on a mission of almost nine days on the space shuttle orbiter Discovery. He resigned as an astronaut in January on the 16th in 1964. He began taking an active role in Ohio politics and environmental protection efforts. In 1974, he won a seat in the Senate 1974 and was elected three other times after that.

A movie called ‘Hidden Figures’ was released in 2016 that was based off of three brilliant African American women who were the brains behind Glenn’s orbit into space. In the movie, it shows how during those times Glenn gave the ladies the opportunity they needed to show how they were smart enough to give him the ability to achieve something that restored the nation’s confidence and put the Space Race into our favor. This movie captures John Glenn’s charm and dedication to the Space Race as well as not discriminating towards the woman that got him into space. As a person, Glenn was funny and generous but also dedicated. He was loved and looked up to by many, he only came from a small town in Ohio, but he made it big.

Since then, Glenn has been remembered in countless ways all across the United States. From new buildings and schools being named for him, to his resurgence into the popular eye through his mention in movies and even the re-releases of his speeches and political opinions, Glenn has continuously found his way to leave his mark even following his death. Further, the schools in the East Muskingum district devoted an entire day to the learning of John Glenn, where students learned about what astronauts eat in space, the ways in which teachers knew him personally and even understanding his political opinions by reading legislature he supported.

John Glenn once said, “If there is one thing I’ve learned in my years on this planet, it’s that the happiest and most fulfilled people I’ve known are those who devoted themselves to something bigger and more profound than merely their own self interest.”

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