tv Vice President Joe Biden Delivers Remarks at Funeral for John Glenn CSPAN December 17, 2016 8:00pm-9:01pm EST
that you must always be honest. 100% honest in everything you do. if you do that, you will be in good stead. >> representative elect andy biggs. we appreciate your time. >> next, the memorial service for john glenn. then president-elect trump speaks in mobile, alabama. now the memorial service for .ohn glenn kaaba wh among those speaking, joe biden and john glenn's sons. this is about two hours. ♪ [no audio]
welcome to this celebration of a life of service. we come from many faiths and perspectives. brought together by a desired to remember and honor the life of john glenn. service we won't began to capture the depths and s of the-- breadth life he lived but we will try. theill also celebrate unfailing promises of god.
we remember love for us is stronger than death. today, we hold fast to that truth as we celebrate senator glenn's life. now, please join me in our call to worship. before god spoke the first word of creation, there was love. when we draw our last breath and leave this world, love will be waiting for us. then let us worship god. ♪
mr. glenn: looking back on it now, it was almost an idyllic place to have a childhood. patriotism and feelings about the country were a given. it was not something that was rare. as i look back on the influences, whether it was religion or morals, ethical behavior, it was almost an idyllic place for kids to grow up. i had a teacher in high school that really affected my later life, harvard steele, and harvard steele taught a course called civics at the time, and he was a wonderful teacher. he really made the whole thing come alive. i look forward to his classes. it was something that really inspired me later on. ♪
mr. kessler: god, our refuge and strength, you are always close to us and every moment of our lives. meet us now at this time of sadness, and lift our eyes to the peace and might of your constant care. help us to hear your words of grace, that any fear we might have will be dispelled by your love and loneliness eased by your presence, and our hope renewed by your promises.
we gather this day in this place to grieve senator john glenn's death, and to celebrate a life well lived in a new life that will never end. bless also those he loved to are gathered here today. pour out your blessings on this assembly and allow your grace to be our guide. sustain us, o lord, with your comfort and presents today and always. we pray this in your name, o gracious god, amen. mr. beck: the following is a passage that is read on yom kippur, the holiest day of the jewish year, and lends perspective to the inevitable cycle of life. if some message were to come to us with the offer that death should be overthrown but with the one inseparable condition that birth should also sees, if we who live here today were given the chance to live forever, but on the clear
understanding that never again would there be a child or a use or first love, never again new persons with new hopes, new ideas, new achievements, ourselves always and forever, could the answer be in doubt? as john glenn lived, let us treasure the time we have an resolve to use it well. let us live deliberately and make each moment count, a chance to apprehend some truth, to experience some beauty, to conquer some evil, to relieve some suffering, to love and be loved, to achieve something of lasting value. help us to fulfill the promise that is in each of us so that when we are gone, another generation will say, "our world is better because, for a brief time, we lived." it has been said that people come into our lives for a reason, and i think we have all been blessed by the extraordinary life of john
glenn. ♪ mr. glenn: so i got my private eyelets license in the spring of 1941, and then pearl harbor occurred. pres. roosevelt: a date which will live in infamy. mr. glenn: i knew what my responsibilities were at the time. my dad and mother were not too keen on the dropping out of school at the time, but it was my duty to do it, and i did it. i was impressed with the marine corps and thought that the marines were the best, and i wanted to be part of it. rev. miracle: please join me in
saying the words of the 23rd psalm as printed in your program. >> all: the lord is my shepherd, i shall not want. he maketh me to lie down in green pastures. he leadeth me beside still waters. he restores my soul. he leadeth me in paths of righteousness for his namesake. yea, though i walk in the valley of the shadow of death, i will fear no evil for thou art with me. thy rod and thy staff, they comfort me.
thou prepare a state table before me in the presence of mine enemies. now anointed my head with oil. my cup runneth over. surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and i will dwell in the house of the lord forever. mr. drake: it is a privilege to say a few words in honor of our esteemed friend and colleague. there are those here today who have known senator glenn for 60, 70, or even 90 years, but most of us knew him long before we actually met him. we knew him through news reports
and flickering images of events that were among the most spectacular we had ever witnessed. the suspense of the countdown, the majesty of the liftoff, the technical brilliance. our nation was proud of the achievement and proud of our brave and dashing hero. but more than that, we cared about him personally. we prayed for him personally. for his family, for his happiness, and his safety. the mission captured our minds, but john glenn won our hearts. there are many reasons for that. foremost among them was the quality of john glenn the man, a decorated combat veteran, a fearless test pilot, but also importantly a dedicated husband and father.
he is very much like all of us -- a superhuman work ethic, perhaps, but in so many other ways like our fathers, our brothers, husband, our neighbor from new concord, ohio. and he was a consummate teammate. he put it all before him and risk it all, so vulnerable and so human, and that tiny capsule, to show us that we could succeed, which gave millions of us the confidence to know that we could reach our dreams. the service life stretching over the past half-century was exemplary and inspiring. from the beginning and throughout, he radiated authenticity and confidence, perfect humility. he was the opposite of boastful. as truly outstanding people do, he let his actions speak for themselves. he was competitive, but he always would do his best, to do a good job, to allow himself to be a remodel.
and to our everlasting fortunes, he returned home, to his home, to ohio, and after leaving office, to the ohio state university, which he loved dearly and served energetically and with distinction as a faculty member and elder statesman throughout the last years of his life. we are eternally grateful. in that context, we met john glenn during the recruitment process for this position. we were appropriately very flattered that he would take time out to the airport on a sunday afternoon, but the main memory from that meeting was that we learned immediately that there was much more to him than we had appreciated from the farm, and that more was annie. the two of them together radiated warmth and optimism. the bond between them was helpful. in meeting annie, we shook
hands, and she smiled and did not let go. as we talked, she held my hand for several minutes, as though i were a grandson returning home, and we spoke as though we had known together for years. that easy and welcomed us to the community. after moving to columbus, we have the pleasure to visit with john and annie on several occasions, some private and some public, to bear mention today. the first was the john glenn college of public affairs. he was passionate about education and the college that honored and bore his name. he was thrilled at the background and interests of his students, tomorrow's leaders. he was ever present in his office or attending events or welcoming dignitaries. always doing his best to inspire by example, a consistent, unwavering theme in his life. the dedication was on a brisk, crystal bright spring day. the trees were bursting with new
life. the excited crowd would gather facing these steps -- in fact, it looks just like the scene you solved on me. -- in fact, it looked just like the scene you see behind me. the car is just visible above the heads of the people in the foreground, snaking slowly, and it was eerily reminiscent of something, and it took a few seconds to grasp. it looks just like a tickertape parade for an honored native son, as though it were february, 1962, all over again. a sign from above, perhaps, of a job well done and great things to come. the second moment occurred just over a year ago. this time at a social dinner for the four of us at a local restaurant.
it was like an old-school double date, and we were talking broadly about university life and the events of the day, and the conversation turned to the 1960's and friendships with the members of the kennedy family and the fateful event in june, 1968. he shared a story you all know well, after senator kennedy was wounded, the glenns were asked by the kennedy family to take the five children, who were in california with them, back to the home in virginia, and to watch over them while events in los angeles unfolded -- and this they did. on the morning of the second day, he got the call, and it fell to him to draw the children together to share the unspeakable news you're so he said he called them into a room and sat on the estimate that,
and as he was reliving this moment, his voice broke, and you cannot continue, a half-century later. reflexively, i reached out and took his hand, and then i caught myself, wondering if i had unwittingly crossed some privilege of familiarity, but before i asked -- he squeezed my hand and held it tightly, and after a pause, telling those kids that their father was gone was the toughest thing he had ever done. it took him a few minutes to regain composure. i felt in that moment when he was so powerful yet so vulnerable, so human, i felt what it means to be steadfast, what it means to be reliable, what it means to be compassionate, to be loving, and why those measures of character are so important, why they matter so much. in that moment, more than flights around the planet or the bravery of defending our nation under arms or decades of being a servant either in our university or our government, in that moment, he exemplified the transcendent beauty of true courage. as we bask in the glow of
greatness, we are uplifted and inspired. inspired because we, too, can be steadfast and true. we can be compassionate. he lived in outstanding life in a way that exemplified the value and power of being our best. we can honor him by doing what we can every day to be our best selves. there can be no more powerful legacy, no more impactful legacy. a man for the ages leaves us with a message for the ages. godspeed, john glenn. godspeed indeed. ♪
mr. glenn: when i came back from korea, i had applied to go through test pilot training, and i was accepted. and i thought to work out some of the new bugs on the airplanes would of just been the ultimate in flying. >> marine major john glenn tested a continental flight. three hours, 23 minutes, 8.4 seconds. >> we broke the record by quite a bit, by about 20 minutes or so. gen. dailey: to annie, the true
source of john's remarkable strength, for their many years together, to david and lyn who share their father with a grateful nation, i am honored to be here today to celebrate the life of a man, which i am proud to have called both a hero and a friend. only a handful of people in history have been called upon to publicly embody the ideals of an entire nation. fewer still have stood to the task in both wartime and peace, and not have answered the call more perfectly than john glenn. he began my hero early in my career as a marine, and still is today. he defined an age of american history in three storied institutions, but whether he was orbiting the earth or the senate
floor, he was always a marine. on his way to attend annie's organ recital one day, john heard on the radio that pearl harbor had been attacked. anyone who knows annie understands what a sacrifice it was for john to put their marriage plans on hold, leave college, and join the fight. anyone who knew john understands that he did not see a choice. he saw his duty to serve. he tried to join the army air corps, but they could not take them fast enough. instead, he entered the military through the naval aviation cadet program, where he met his lifelong friend, tom miller. he chose the marine corps for the same reason many of us do, because we have the best looking uniforms. [laughter] gen. dailey: after he earned his wings, he and his buddy, tom, were first assigned to a
transport squadron. this was not in their plan. here we see one of the first examples of what he calls "selective opportunity." this is where you see an opportunity, and you position yourself to be competitive for the position. on this occasion, it backfired. he and his pal, tom, heard that the marine corps was going to get p-38's, a fighter being flown by the army air corps. they reasoned that if they got trained as engine pilots, they would have a leg up on being competitive for this twin-engine fire. the marine corps did not get the p-38, but they got multiengine squadron, and not the fighters they maneuvered so skillfully to get. but just across the field were two fighters waldron's, so he and -- fighter squadrons, so he and pal tom walked over and asked for a transfer. that sounds so simple now, but
john's version included being chewed out by his colonel like something from a movie theater this is not the first time john pay price for positioning himself on assignment. on another occasion, john, only a lieutenant at this time, talked charles lindbergh into letting him his demonstration fighter, which lindbergh was touring around the country. this audacity led to another pointed conversation with his squadron commander. even then, the country with having to hustle to keep up with the john glenn. we admired the determination he brought to the work, but he was not in it for himself. service to the nation was personal for him. he lost his wingman on his very first combat mission. he understood the risks. he knew firsthand the heavy task of gathering a friend's personal effects and writing a letter to the next of kin.
john went on to fly 149 combat missions in two wars. he never shocked from danger. he drew enemy fire like a magnet, giving rise to one of his more infamous nicknames, which i cannot repeat here. [laughter] gen. dailey: he shot down three, and he landed with more than 250 bullet holes in his airplane, but the man himself was bulletproof. john's exemplary service in two wars earned him a slot as a test pilot. his most memorable mission was to fly supersonic across the country and set the world speed record. it was a test of durability of engines and continuous afterburner. it is important to note the limit on those engines was five minutes. he crossed the country in three hours, 23 minutes and proved that the engine was a lot better
than we thought it was. but he called it project build a bullet because he was going to be flying faster than a 45 caliber pistol bullet. it turned out during this flight, unbeknownst to him, conditions were perfect over a part of the country for sonic booms, which he drove from his hometown of indianapolis to concord, rattling windows the hallway. it was not the last america would hear from him. the motto of his school is lead by example, and he led by example for us all. his wingman in korea, ted williams, once called him "one of the calmest men i have ever met, no matter how perilous the situation." he might be referring to a situation where williams was hit by antiaircraft fire, and his plane was ablaze. john pulled up, they climbed to higher altitude, and williams made it back to base.
of all the war stories, this one illustrates perhaps best what john meant to us. he elevated us up to his level where we discovered what an american could do. he once said he had been a marine for 23 years and it just was not enough. we had john for 95 great years, and it still was not enough. a long, full life is a gift, and john made his a gift to us all. so today we say thank you. for the service and sacrifice, for the faith and the friendship, and for always leading us higher. even though the marines hymn was written over 200 years ago, they had john glenn in mind when they
wrote "first to fight for right and freedom and to keep our honor clean. we are proud to claim the title of united states marines." colonel john glenn has made his last takeoff, and he will be missed but never forgotten. >> 7, 6, 5 -- >> godspeed, john glenn -- >> 4, 3, 2, 1. ignition. liftoff. ♪ mr. glenn: the word "astronaut" was not even known when i was growing up.
that came along later. ♪ mr. glenn: i loved it. i liked to go up every day. [laughs] mr. bolden: this week, our nation has been mourning the loss of one of its greatest heroes, john glenn. his passing has affected me deeply, but in a spirit of optimism that he has always radiated, i would also like us to remember his many achievements and the pioneering
spirit that he exemplified. i also want to thank annie, lyn, and david and the entire glenn family for sharing their husband, father, grandfather with the world. every one of us on planet earth has benefited from having him on our team. annie, you and john exemplified, for all of us, what it means to be united as a couple. your love and friendship over 73 years is unlike anything i have ever seen. i'm glad and incredibly blessed that i was able to witness your devotion. i hope that jackie and i can emulate your love. i was so moved when i called them earlier this year to congratulate them on their 73rd anniversary. when john put annie on the phone, she said, and i quote, "charlie, you know, i think this
is going to work." [laughter] mr. bolden: john glenn always said yes. yes to his country's call in the united states marine corps, yes to being the first american to orbit earth as one of mercury seven, yes to the state's nomination to serve in the senate, and yes to the ongoing call of his nation to help forge a path through a new millennium. it was courage, grace, and humility john displayed throughout his life that lifted him above the stars. as the current head of nasa, i can say unequivocally that we are standing on john glenn's shoulders as we pursue a human journey to mars, a journey that would not be possible without his bravery and selfless dedication. i know that, and countless other
astronauts, who had the privilege of following senator glenn into space, content point his remarkable accomplishment as the first american to orbit earth as the seed of our aspirations. even in his 70's, he continued to break barriers as he took to space again in the space shuttle. i was so proud to see this american legend soar again on the discovery 1995 mission. just as with his first flight, he planted a seed, that someday americans from all walks of life might experience space and the wonder of our planet from orbit and see it as a unified whole. kennedy space director bob cabana, another marine, recalled at the time just how excited john was to once again be "one of the guys," and how happy and blessed he felt to continue his role in the space program he loved and valued so much.
steve lindsey, who is with us today, flew with john glenn as the pilot on discovery. steve said, and i quote, "what i learned about john through that experience is that he was authentic. every bit the hero the world and our nation holds him to be. john was, at his core, a man of humility, integrity, and kindness, someone who put others ahead of himself, a team player, and someone you could always count on." john glenn always represented the best of our american ideals. his personal popular he was enormous, perhaps because he was so approachable, so genuine. people felt as though he could sit down in their parlor for a chat and be right at home, or like steve lindsey said, that he would be a great neighbor. john glenn was deeply compassionate.
he valued everyone, no matter his race or gender. he was ahead of his time in many ways. it was he who personally requested that katherine johnson, a black woman from west virginia, working as a human computer at the langley research center, he requested that katherine johnson do the verifying of the calculations on his historic flight as a backup to the ibm electric computer. john was just like that. john made us look up, not only to the sky, thinking we might actually be able to see him up there, but toward a higher purpose, that we as a country are always striving to achieve. he represented innovation and bravery, and with that
infectious grin, he made us all feel good about ourselves. john first flew to space aboard friendship 7, and he was truly a friend of humanity. a daring pilot who risked his life in world war ii and korea and worked tirelessly to advance the field of aviation long before he took to space. he did the utmost on behalf of us all. it is fitting that this they also marks the 113th anniversary of the wright brothers' first powered flight. just as john advanced the frontiers of aviation, so, too, we will follow his legacy to us, to travel farther in space. john glenn received many accolades, but his true measure is taken not in awards but in
the respect he still commands on both ends of the political spectrum, by the large shadow he cast on our entire endeavor to travel farther into the solar system, and by the bright flame of his inspiration which continues to illuminate our way. god speed john glenn. thank you. we will never forget you. ♪ >> i decided it was time to do other things. i thought about politics and government work sometime, but i have no idea that i would be up to do that myself. i had been thinking about this since i was a kid. being able to contribute and orbital flight, and if i was to
continue in that area, we would do the best for the country. that's right a to run for public office. to the depth of everything in this country. >> when john glenn was 10 years old, his father, his hero, a veteran of world war i taught him how to play caps on the bugle. with flowers next to gravesites and gravestones of the fallen, john will recall that time and feeling when he said where love
of country was a given, defensive ideals is an obligation, and the opportunity to join in this operation is a challenge not only to fulfill a sacred duty, but to join a joyous adventure. with john, all the years i worked with him was always a joyous adventure. what a joyous adventure you and john had together, on display for your children and the whole world to see. you all know it, you can tell when a couple genuinely loves and enjoys one another. on behalf of president obama and behalf of the american people, we are here because we love you and we love john. together you taught us how to love. that is not something you usually talk about when you talk about heroes, especially heroes
like john glenn, who lived a life that was rigorous with just a little bit of magic. we talk about poise under pressure, mental and physical toughness, but for all his heroism the history will remember in war and space and public life, you felt something deeper with john. the way to get to air force two, i got a call from john kerry. some are over the atlantic on the way to another mission in the middle east. and he told me about his time that he got to spend with you a couple of days ago and the family.
he said -- only the ninth in history. he said he talked about how much it meant to him and to be with you. and he gained spontaneously what i think is the best description of john glenn, and i knew john for over four years. he said john came out of the heart of the country like you kids do, and he stole america's heart. he came out of the heart of the country and stole america's heart. and he did. he stole america's heart. u.n. john and jill and i have been friends for 40 years. we served in the senate together side-by-side for 20 years and we traveled around the world together.
john was one of the happiest people i knew. he had that infectious smile. john would walk in my office or walk in a caucus with a big smile on his face. i would wonder where the hell has he been? is not here what i just heard? the world knew and respected john from columbus to cambodia to washington to beijing. he loved being a senator, he loved his constituents and his
colleagues. you can feel his love for his country and his state. but most especially, he felt love for you and his grandchildren. all you had to do was see john and andy walked together. you knew that is what it was supposed to be like. i said that the day we -- i said it is different. everyone knows i love jill more than she loves me. [laughter] i think you loved him just as much.
the last time we were together when jill and i had and he and john over to the vice presidents residence, i was looking at the picture this morning. we were walking out to the gate. and the words of the poet christopher marlowe came to mind and i had to rewrite this on the way to the plane. christopher marlowe said, come with me and be my love and all the pleasures we shall prove. together, you and john proved all the pleasures. you not only had a magical love affair, the other thing about you, you were partners.
you the weight and responsibility with enormous humility. a sense of duty that defined to as the greatest of america's greatest generation. i think john defined what it meant to be american, what we were about. just by how he acted. it was always about promise. we were a country about possibilities, opportunity, always a belief in tomorrow. when john was in the house a couple of years ago he said what are we going to do tomorrow? we have all these opportunities. together you taught us that a good life is built not on a single historic act or multiple acts of heroism, but the
thousands little things, the thousand little things that build character. treating everyone with dignity and respect. we would go in the restroom where the shoeshine guy, john would always pat him on the shoulder and give him a hug. understanding that despite fame, everybody was john's equal. everybody was john's equal in his mind. and it all comes down to being personal. i can even try to improve on tip o'neill's -- about how all politics is local. i don't think john would agree with that. i think he thought all politics is personal. it is all personal.
it all comes down to being personnel, to being there for family, and being there in that being there for friends. u.n. john were there for me and jill. when i was in the hospital you are there for us when our son deployed and you were there when we buried him. it is all about being personal. u.n. john, as was mentioned earlier, i happened to be with ethel kennedy at an awards ceremony in new york and the ripple hope ceremony, and ironically a fellow who runs my office who was an ohio guy said john wasn't doing well. i had a brief discussion with
ethel. the story is well known about him talking to the kids and being sent back to hickory hill. what struck me was i was told that when you went john got to hickory hill john walked into senator kennedy's private study. and saw that robert kennedy had out a book of poetry. and it was opened up in the leaf of the book and margins, comments made by robert kennedy. and the passage until john remembered was, this time like all times is a very good one.
if we know what to do with it. the thing i like most about john is he knew from his upbringing that ordinary americans could do extraordinary things. he believed, i believed he was confident that every successive generation would know what to do with it. that is the charge i think john left us. it join our nation's conquests and operations as a challenge to not only fulfill a sacred duty, but to join in this joyous adventure. so when the marine plays taps on the bugle at arlington for our friend, we can look deep into
the heavens and no with certitude that john believed, and was right, that future generations of americans will also look deep within the heavens and understand how to explore, how to serve, how to love. they will come to understand they're looking for a message to send about our time here on earth, about what it means to be an american. that is the life of john glenn, and that is not hyperbole. god bless you john, god bless you any, and may god attacked our troops. ♪
america! america! god shed his grace on thee and crown thy good with brotherhood from sea to shining sea. ♪ ♪ o beautiful for pilgrim feet -- o beautiful for heroes proved in liberating strife. who more than self their country loved and mercy more than life. america, america, may god thy gold refine.
till all success be nobleness and every gain divine. ♪ >> this is a reading from the gospel of mark. one of the scribes came near and heard them disputing with one another, and seen that jesus answered them well he asked them, which commandment is the first of all? jesus answered the first is hero is real, the lord our god, the lord is one, you shall love the lord your god with all your heart. with all your soul and with all
your mind and with all your strength. you shall love your neighbor as you love yourself. there is no greater commandment than these. >> whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is pleasing, whatever is commendable, if there is excellence and anything worthy of praise, think about these things. keep on doing the things you have learned and received and heard and seen in me. and the god of peace will be with you.
[applause] ♪ >> going back to concorde and what i experience myself there is some of what i try to pass on now to our school here. how do you inspire citizenship? how do you get a feeling of pride and community and state and country to where they are willing to go out and engage in political activity?
it means a lot to our family. we really were not yet ready to say goodbye to him. his mind was sharp as attack but his body was failing him. i'm going to speak about my father from the perspective of being his son, but i have a huge amount of difficulty deciding what to say about him. i just decided to go with the things i am going to tell you about today. i'm going to start by talking about his memories, and then i will share some of my memories for him. i can't really say for sure what made him what he was, but he was born in a happy home with two parents who love to deeply. and he grew up in a classic american town, where he could adventure and explore to his heart's content. there is a terrific community
spirit there. focused around church and school and town activities. and he told us lots of stories about his friends and my mother. in particular he never forgot the effect of the great depression in new concorde. late one night he overheard his parents talking about how they were going to lose their home if the wouldn't make any more payments on their mortgage. then one of fdr's new public works programs helped my father struggling plumbing business get >> dad worked in that business
as a teenager cutting pipes. he was really proud to be hyped --pipe cutter. there are more memories from lifeperiod of his early with us. as a little kid, he would load some rhubarb from his family's rhubarb patch and sell them to neighbors. he liked to do the same thing with cabbage. he had a paper route and he played the trumpet. andrandmother loved poetry she hahim learn homes -- poems that he would