Vice President Joe Biden says former U.S. Senator and space pioneer John Glenn "defined what it meant to be an American."
Biden told an estimated memorial service crowd of 25 hundred packing an Ohio State University auditorium Saturday his fellow Democratic lawmaker knew that ordinary Americans could do extraordinary things. Biden choked up when he addressed Glenn's wife, Annie.
Biden says Glenn was the happiest person he's ever known.
John Glenn, Junior remembered his father as a man who believed those working in government could accomplish something great for common people.
Carolyn Ann Glenn says she learned much from her father.
John Glenn was the first American to orbit the Earth in 1962, and in 1998 became the oldest person in space at age 77. NASA Administrator Charles Bolden says future space travel is possible because of what Glenn achieved.
Retired U.S. Marine Corps Genenal John Dailey says the nation had Glenn for 95 years and "it still wasn't enough." Other leaders joined mourners as bagpipes played while the flag-draped coffin was brought into Mershon Auditorium. A chorus sang "Let There Be Peace On Earth" during the more than two hour service. Ethel Kennedy and Robert F. Kennedy Junior were among the mourners present, along with Ohio political leaders and others. A procession of Glenn's hearse went from the Statehouse to the auditorium called "a celebration of life" for the former fighter pilot, astronaut and longtime U.S. Senator from New Concord, Ohio. Glenn died December 8 after being hospitalized in Columbus for more than a week with an undisclosed ailment. He will be laid to rest in Arlington National Cemetery.