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John Glenn: Remembering an true hero

Revered astronaut John Glenn inspired the world in 1962 when he became the first American to orbit the earth, circling it three times.

Glenn passed away at the age of 95 on Thursday. In 1962, the Earth celebrated his departure. Today, we celebrate his life.

Glenn was literally launched into the history books with his first orbit of the earth, serving as a reassurance that the U.S. could in fact keep up with Russia in technology and innovation.

Russia had already launched two astronauts, Yuri Gagarin and Gherman Titov, into space as tensions were highly on edge during the Cold War.

But far outpacing his huge accomplishment, which Glenn played down as something any astronaut selected for the flight could have done, is a strong morality and character spoken of by those who knew him.

A kid from a small town in Ohio, Glenn went on to become a pilot for the Marines and a military test pilot. After becoming an astronaut and gaining fame for his historic orbit, Glenn served 24 years as a U.S. Senator. His life seemed to be always driven by serving something bigger than himself.

Glenn was an American hero that viewed himself as just another man doing his job, no different from any other man. As he said at his retirement from the Senate, “There is still no cure for the common birthday.”

And yet, his life touched more than an average person could hope to touch, as evidenced by the resonation his death has had across the country. As a hero is laid to rest, we salute the great achievements he brought to us all.