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tv   Vice President Joe Biden Delivers Remarks at Funeral for John Glenn  CSPAN  December 17, 2016 2:00pm-3:01pm EST

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pride in our country and its accomplishments are not a thing of the past. [applause] know i still get a hard to define feeling down inside when the flag goes by, and i know all of you do, too. [applause] launch itself was conducted openly and with the news media representatives from around the world in attendance. this is certainly in sharp contrast with other programs in the world and elevates our program. today, i happened to be standing alone on this great platform, just as i seems to be alone in the carpet of the friendship seven spacecraft, but i am not. they were with me then, and with americansousands of
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and many citizens of many countries and for the world who contributed to this truly international undertaking voluntarily and in a spirit of understanding. we are all proud to have been privileged to be part of this effort, to represent our country as we half. as our knowledge of this universe in which we live increases, may god grant us the wisdom and guidance to use it wisely. thank you. [applause] ♪ >> and crown thy good with brotherhood from sea to shining sea. in the pattern of all our free american traditions, john glenn's trailblazing venture into space has shown the way for human progress, for brotherhood around the world. his story speaks of people and places and industry, of the greatness that is america. it stings of the unselfish aims constantly striving
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for peace, directing all its power and persuasion toward the preservation of freedom. in its majesty and magnificence, this is the land. greatness,r historic these are the people, and the john glenn story is their story. nation'swith the restless energy come a source with the spirit of americans everywhere. across this vast spread land, and all its towns and cities come on all its forms and ranches, deep in its reaches of forests and planes, of winding roads and rivers, mountains, lakes, and sea-laced shores, people turn their eyes to the high sky, sending their hopes through spaceding with john glenn in friendship seven.
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as all the world watched and hoped, with mankind's wonderment about the universe, finding an approach at last toward fulfillment in the john glenn story. ♪
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grace azing ow sweet the sound
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me saved a wretch like i once was lost but now i am found was blind but now i see through many dangers, toils and snares we have already come was grace that brought us safe
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thus far and grace will lead us home amazing grace how sweet the sound saved a wretch like me i once was lost but now i am found blind but now i see 'twas
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'twas grace that taught my heart to fear and grace my fears relieved how precious did that grace appear the hour i first believed amazing grace how sweet the sound that saved a wretch like me i once was lost but now i am found
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was blind but now i see amazing grace how sweet the sound that saved a wretch like me i once was lost but now i am found was blind but now i see ♪
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dream, impossible dream, unbeatable foe inkable
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to bear with unbearable sorrow to run where the brave dare not go to right the unrightable wrong to be better far than you are to try when your arms are too weary to reach the unreachable star this is my quest, to follow that star no matter how hopeless, no matter how far
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to be willing to give when there's no more to give to be willing to die so that honor and justice may live and i know if i'll only be true to this glorious quest that my heart will lie peaceful and calm when i'm laid to my rest this is my song, to follow the stars, no matter how hopeless, no matter how far to fight for the right
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to be willing to die so that honor and justice may live and i know if i'll only be true to this glorious quest that my heart will lie peaceful and calm when i'm laid to my rest and the world will be better for this that one man, scorned and covered with scars, still strove with his last ounce of courage to reach the unreachable star ooh the unreachable star ♪
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him him ♪
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>> please be seated. welcome to this celebration of a life of service. andome from any faiths perspectives, brought together by a desire to remember and inor the life of john glenn th. in this service, we will not
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begin to capture the depth and breadth of the life he led, but we will try. we will try. will alsofternoon, we celebrate the unfailing promises of god. we remember that god's love for us is stronger than death. that, we hold fast to truth as we celebrate senator glenn's life. now, please join me in our call to worship. 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. us worship god.
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♪ 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, mr. steele, and harvard taught a course called civics at the time, and he was a
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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. ♪ >> 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
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your presence, and our hope run it by your promises. in this place day to grieve senator john glenn seth, 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. 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. >> the following is a passage that is read on yom kippur, the holiest day of the jewish year, and lens perspective to the inevitable cycle of life. if some message were to come to
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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
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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. ♪ so i got my private eyelets license in the spring of 1941, and then pearl harbor occurred. >> 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.
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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. >> 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. ofleadeth me in paths
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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 .ine 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. >> it is a privilege to say a
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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
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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 summary other ways like our fathers, our brothers, husband, our neighbor from concord, ohio. and he was a consummate teammate. andut it all before him 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. 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 postal.
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people do,tstanding he let his actions speak for themselves. , but heompetitiven always would do his best, to do a good job, to allow himself to be a remodel. into our everlasting fortunes, his home,d home, to 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 ame out to the airport on 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
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, and that more was annie. the two of them together radiated warmth and optimism. the bond between them was helpful. we shookg annie, 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.
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always doing his best to inspire consistent,a 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 in , 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, have a job well done and great things
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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 , 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 felt 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, moment, his voice broke,
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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 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
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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. enspired because we, too, can b 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.
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♪ 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. >> moraine mayor john glenn tested a continental flight.
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three hours, 23 minutes, 8.4 seconds. >> we broke the record by quite , by about 20 minutes or so. >> to annie, the true source of john's remarkable strength, for their many years together, to david and lynn 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
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more perfectly than john glenn. in myan my hero early career as a marine, and still is today. americand an age of history in three storied institutions, but whether he was orbiting the earth or the senate floor, he was always a marine. annie'say to attend 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
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the same reason many of us do, because we have the best looking uniforms. [laughter] 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 '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 fighters and not the
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they maneuvered so skillfully to get. but just across the field were two fighters waldron's, so he ghter squadrons, so he and pal tom walked over and asked for a transfer. that sounds so simple now, but john's version included being colonelout by his 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.
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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] three,iley: he shot down 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. wasmost memorable mission to fly supersonic across the country and set the world speed record. it was a test of durability of engines and continuous
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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. thisrned out during flight, unbeknownst to him, conditions were perfect over a part of the country for sonic which he drove from his hometown of indianapolis to theord, rattling windows 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
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of the commonest men i have -- 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 altitude, -- higher 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. years,john for 95 great and it still was not enough. full life is a gift, and john made his a gift to us all. so today we say thank you. the service and sacrifice,
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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 write "first you fight for freedom and to keep our honor clean." we are proud to claim the title of united states marine. 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. ♪
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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] week, our nation has been mourning the loss of one of its greatest heroes, john glenn. his passing has affected me in a spirit of
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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, and the entire glenn family for sharing their husband, father, grandfather with the world. planet earthus on has benefited from having him on our team. annie, u.n. 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 witnessas able to your devotion to her i hope that jackie and i can copy your love.
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i was so moved when i called them earlier this year to congratulate them on her 73rd anniversary. when john put any on the phone, said, and i quote, "charlie, you know, i think this is going to work." [laughter] 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 s.a.t.'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
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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. director bob
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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
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because he wasps 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 kathryn johnson, a black woman from west virginia atorking as a human computer the langley research center, he requested that kathryn 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
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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 glint, he made us all .eel 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 ti


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