I still remember the day that John Glenn made that historic flight to orbit the earth. I was twenty two at the time and was glued to my television, watching America make history. It was unbelievable and something no one thought was possible. John Glenn was more than an astronaut that day, he was a household name.
John Glenn, born and raised in Ohio, made the first orbital flight of the earth, aboard the Space Shuttle Mercury — Atlas 6 “Friendship 7,” on Feb. 20, 1962. On this historic day, he inspired millions of Americans by piloting the spacecraft as it orbited the earth three times in nearly five hours, a feat which eventually earned him the NASA Distinguished Service Medal.
Following his historical space flight, Glenn ran to represent Ohio in the U.S. Senate and won on his third attempt. He was actively involved in weapons control and government affairs during his four terms in Congress. He also was chairman of the Senate Government Affairs Committee, and served on the Special Committee on Aging and the Foreign Relations and Armed Services committees.
Upon retirement from the Senate, Glenn embarked on his last mission into space, a part of the Space Shuttle Discovery Crew, and became the oldest human to go into space.
John Glenn has had numerous accomplishments and holds a special place in the hearts of many around Ohio and the nation. He has helped bring a glimpse of our universe into our living rooms, and has impacted the lives and dreams of many while doing so.
From his service in the U.S. military, to his dedication to space exploration and his commitment to representing Ohioans in Washington, D.C., John Glenn has certainly made a lasting legacy. To honor this legacy, the Ohio House recently voted to rename Port Columbus International Airport after one of the most famous pioneers of flight. Glenn has inspired Ohioans of every age and I was proud to support the effort to name John Glenn International Airport to celebrate his many endeavors throughout his life.
John Glenn has always inspired me to reach for the big things in life. Hard work is the foundation that John Glenn built his life around and it is ultimately what led him to accomplish his dreams. Glenn continues to be a testament that anybody can achieve greatness and leave their mark on the world if they work hard and believe in themselves.
The writer represents the 84th District in the Ohio House of Representatives.