A procession is held on the streets of Columbus for former astronaut and U.S. senator John Glenn prior to a memorial service at Ohio State University. Rough Cut (no reporter narration).
ROUGH CUT (NO REPORTER NARRATION) STORY: A procession along the streets of Columbus leads to a memorial service for former astronaut and U.S. senator John Glenn at The Ohio State University, Saturday (December 17). John Glenn, who became one of the 20th century's greatest explorers as the first American to orbit Earth and later as the world's oldest astronaut, and also had a long career as a U.S. senator, died in Ohio on December 8, at age 95. Glenn, the last surviving member of the original seven American "Right Stuff" Mercury astronauts, died at the James Cancer Hospital at Ohio State University in Columbus, said Hank Wilson, a spokesman at the university's John Glenn College of Public Affairs, which Glenn helped found. Glenn was credited with reviving U.S. pride after the Soviet Union's early domination of manned space exploration. His three laps around the world in the Friendship 7 capsule on Feb. 20, 1962, forged a powerful link between the former fighter pilot and the Kennedy-era quest to explore outer space as a "New Frontier." President Barack Obama, who in 2012 awarded Glenn the nation's highest civilian honor, the Presidential Medal of Freedom, said: "With John's passing, our nation has lost an icon." As the third of seven astronauts in NASA's solo-flight Mercury program to venture into space, Glenn became more of a media fixture than the others and was known for his composure and willingness to promote the program. Glenn's astronaut career, as well as his record as a fighter pilot in World War Two and the Korean War, helped propel him to the U.S. Senate in 1974, where he represented his home state of Ohio for 24 years as a moderate Democrat.