Video: John Glenn buried today at Arlington

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

Caption
Glenn burial

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

Former astronaut, senator died in december.

Former Sen. John Glenn now rests in the same earth that he once marveled at from a tiny window inside the Friendship 7 in 1962.

Glenn, who died Dec. 8 at 95, was interred at Arlington National Cemetery Thursday in a small private ceremony with family and close friends, months after thousands visited him as he laid in state in the Ohio Statehouse.

ExploreRELATED: Highlights of John Glenn’s memorial

On a rain-drenched spring day with the trees beginning to bloom, a horse-drawn caisson carried Glenn’s flag-draped casket through the hushed cemetery, passing row after row of tombstones. The loudest sounds were of horses’ feet and the rain falling.

A scattering of tourists stood by watching, huddled under umbrellas. Finally, the caisson, escorted by Marines, reached its destination. Six Marines carefully carried Glenn’s casket to the place where he will rest, then slowly, deliberately, folded the flag atop that casket and gave it to Annie Glenn, who gently put her hand on the Marine’s shoulder who gave her the flag.

Glenn, a New Concord native, was a 40-year-old test pilot when he climbed into Friendship 7, a cramped capsule, and flew to his history-making orbit around the earth. He later served four terms as a U.S. senator, then returned to space in 1998, becoming at 77 the oldest person ever to go to space.

Thursday, he was afforded the pomp and ceremony of an American hero: NASA livestreamed his funeral, and students from Ohio were among those watching the stream.

Marines with Marine Barracks Washington carry the remains of retired Marine Col. John H. Glenn Jr., during his funeral service at the Old Post Chapel, Ft. Meyer, Arlington, Va. April 6, 2017. Glenn passed away Dec. 8, 2016. Glenn was a U.S. Marine aviator who flew 149 combat missions during World War II and the Korean War. He later became a NASA astronaut and was the first man to orbit the earth aboard the “Friendship 7” in 1962. H was then elected to the U.S. Senate for the state of Ohio in 1974 and served four consecutive terms. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Christian Varney)
Caption
Marines with Marine Barracks Washington carry the remains of retired Marine Col. John H. Glenn Jr., during his funeral service at the Old Post Chapel, Ft. Meyer, Arlington, Va. April 6, 2017. Glenn passed away Dec. 8, 2016. Glenn was a U.S. Marine aviator who flew 149 combat missions during World War II and the Korean War. He later became a NASA astronaut and was the first man to orbit the earth aboard the “Friendship 7” in 1962. H was then elected to the U.S. Senate for the state of Ohio in 1974 and served four consecutive terms. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Christian Varney)

Credit: Cpl. Christian Varney

Credit: Cpl. Christian Varney

Acting NASA Administrator Robert Lightfoot said Glenn “was more than an astronaut – he was the hero we needed in a rapidly changing world and an icon of our American spirit.

“We will never forget him, and future generations will continue to live out his legacy as we venture farther into the solar system,” he said.

And Columbus-area Rep. Joyce Beatty, D-Jefferson Twp., said she was “proud to salute his invaluable service to our nation and lucky to have called him a friend.”

In Ohio, Gov. John Kasich ordered flags be flown at half-staff Thursday and President Donald Trump ordered them to be flown at half-staff at federal buildings.

Marines with Marine Barracks Washington load the remains of retired Marine Col. John H. Glenn Jr., onto the caisson during his funeral service at the Old Post Chapel, Ft. Meyer, Arlington, Va. April 6, 2017. Glenn passed away Dec. 8, 2016. Glenn was a U.S. Marine aviator who flew 149 combat missions during World War II and the Korean War. He later became a NASA astronaut and was the first man to orbit the earth aboard the “Friendship 7” in 1962. H was then elected to the U.S. Senate for the state of Ohio in 1974 and served four consecutive terms. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Christian Varney)
Caption
Marines with Marine Barracks Washington load the remains of retired Marine Col. John H. Glenn Jr., onto the caisson during his funeral service at the Old Post Chapel, Ft. Meyer, Arlington, Va. April 6, 2017. Glenn passed away Dec. 8, 2016. Glenn was a U.S. Marine aviator who flew 149 combat missions during World War II and the Korean War. He later became a NASA astronaut and was the first man to orbit the earth aboard the “Friendship 7” in 1962. H was then elected to the U.S. Senate for the state of Ohio in 1974 and served four consecutive terms. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Christian Varney)

Credit: Cpl. Christian Varney

Credit: Cpl. Christian Varney

Among those who attended the ceremony were Sen. Rob Portman and Sen. Sherrod Brown. Portman called the ceremony “a beautiful final tribute to a true American hero.”

Portman said during a small ceremony at the Old Post Chapel prior to Glenn’s graveside service, Neller, the commandant of the Marine Corps talked at length about Glenn’s bombing missions in World War II as well as his service in the Korean War.

“You forget sometimes about the extent of his military career,” Portman said, marveling at the length of Glenn’s public service. Glenn requested that he be buried in his Marine “greens.”

Former astronaut and former U.S. Sen. John Glenn (D-OH) is presented with a Presidential Medal of Freedom by U.S. President Barack Obama during an East Room event May 29, 2012 at the White House in Washington, DC. (Alex Wong/Getty Images)
Caption
Former astronaut and former U.S. Sen. John Glenn (D-OH) is presented with a Presidential Medal of Freedom by U.S. President Barack Obama during an East Room event May 29, 2012 at the White House in Washington, DC. (Alex Wong/Getty Images)

The ceremony featured the U.S. Navy Band Sea Chanters quartet, which sang “Amazing Grace,” and “The Lord’s Prayer.”

At the conclusion of the church service, he said, a bugle played “Taps,” before launching into the “Reveille,” the traditional tune played to wake up the troops.

That was at Glenn’s request. “According to (Glenn’s daughter) Lyn, that request of his signaled that he believed in life ever after, and that he wanted his service to end on an upbeat note,” said Portman, who said it was “a beautiful moment” with “the joyous reminder that….he believed he was going to a better place.”

Connie Schultz, a writer who is married to Sen. Sherrod Brown, said the choice was “so like John.”

Astronaut and former Ohio Senator John Glenn talks to members of the media prior to the game between the Cleveland Indians and the New York Yankees at Progressive Field. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)
Caption
Astronaut and former Ohio Senator John Glenn talks to members of the media prior to the game between the Cleveland Indians and the New York Yankees at Progressive Field. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)

“He was such a curious man, such an optimist,” she said. “He would greet the ending of his life – which he knew was coming – with that optimism. He couldn’t wait to see what would come next.”

His honorary pallbearers were his fellow astronauts, many in their 70s and 80s.

“He was a hero long before he orbited the earth,” Portman said. “But when he orbited the earth, he became an American icon.”