This page copyright 1998 The Shrubbery
John Glenn: an American Hero,
an historic deathby Jason Morrison
The whole country is no doubt morning the loss of Senator John Glenn, who died as space shuttle Discovery, which he was aboard, crashed upon liftoff October 29. The Shrub will mourn him as well, for not only was he near and dear to our hearts as Jason and Jessica's fellow Ohioan, he was also a ground-breaking American, just as The Shrub is a ground-breaking publication. While we take internet magazine production to a new level, Glenn took human life function past the farthest reaches of space.
It is now time to look back at Glenn's illustrious career. Sometime in the 1960s, I believe, he became the first American person in orbit who was not a dog. Secondly, he was elected to Congress by the great state of Ohio--yet another in a long history of U.S. Senators and Presidents from this state.
Glenn often battled his fame as astronaut/American hero/living legend. I once read about an incident that happened not long ago. Glenn was speaking at some sort of public event, opening a mall or something, when a crazed lunatic ran out from the crowd and bodily attacked the spaceman. "The earthquakes have just started," the man shouted, signifying to Glenn and those around him that the man was insane. This shocked the Senator and his family--what if the man had had a gun? But this sort of thing comes with the territory.
In reality, I think Glenn had little to fear. In fact, I think this man was merely a pro wrestler, attempting to challenge Glenn to a no-holds-barred steel cage grudge match. How often have we heard Terry "Hulk" Hogan threaten to lay metaphorical earthquakes upon his opponents? Few people know that Glenn wrestled for a short time in the WCW as "Mr. First Man in Space Man"
Glenn was a true American hero because he came from humble upbringings in Ohio. Few American heros have come from affluent families, which attests to the strength of the American dream among poor people, but Glenn was no exception. He pulled himself up from the small town of New Concord to Cape Canaveral and then...beyond. And then Washington, when he was a Senator he worked there.
There once was a young man in Germany who, like Glenn, was from humble upbringings. His dream was to become and artist and architect; unfortunately, he was not talented enough for either. But this young man kept at it, and soon was a political party leader, then dictator. This young man was Adolf Hitler. Hitler never made it to space. The lesson here: if at first you don't succede, try and try again--but for Christ's sake, don't go trying to kill all the Jews.
Rest in Peace, John Glenn. It's too bad you can't go to heaven because your body isn't in consecrated ground.