An American Treasure

John Glenn was by all accounts, an American treasure, a hero. Glenn was the first American to orbit the earth in outer space. He returned to Earth a hero, he enjoyed a ticker tape parade, and they put his space capsule in the Air and Space Museum.

While Glenn circled the Earth a mere three times, they were monumental. Communication technology was limited then and the Cape Canaveril Command would have to pass off communication contact as Glenn travelled around in his orbits. There was always a sigh of a relief when Glenn was then again heard from. Even more nerve wracking was the re-entry. His trajectory had to be exact or he would bounce of the atmosphere or burn up. He made it through the many layers and so,ashes down in the sea and was found. Pretty amazing. I know that my fellow second graders were pretty thrilled.

Pretty amazing for a boy from the farmlands of Ohio. Glenn went on to be a senator and travel into space once more. He always represented America well. I heard him speak at college graduation ceremony, while he inspired the graduates, the older audience was quite possibly more excited by his presence. For all of us, in the early days of space, he and his fellow Mercury astronauts had the right stuff.

Rest well John Glenn, there has to be a star waiting for you out there.



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