Lets all join wishing John and Annie Glenn a complete recovery after their automobile
accident, and pay tribute to a couple that represents so much that is good about America and what American public life can be.
Having seen many Senators come and go, there are three I have seen up close, who in my view should have been President: Birch Bayh, Lloyd Bentsen and John Glenn.
In an age of political disrespect and political discourse that often falls dramatically below standards, John Glenn embodies the true spirit of progressive patriotism, and its a good time to pay him some tribute.
John Glenn was a Marine Corps pilot and war hero, then a courageous astronaut who not only charted a path that inspired many others to the voyage to space, but was an inspiration for many young people and his good friends John and Robert Kennedy.
John Glenn was a United States Senator with a first class intellect, professionalism and body of work who was respected by virtually every Democratic and Republican colleague. He treated issues as serious matters worthy of serious treatment; he treated opponents with courtesy and respect; and he was a gigantic vote getter in Ohio and remains one of the most popular figures in national politics today.
What an incredible, unbelievable and truly astounding triumph that at the age of 77 John Glenn returned to space!
For anyone who knows Ohio politics and the Senate, Annie Glenn is one of the great ladies in American life. In Tom Wolfe's Right Stuff he pays to the wives of the early astronauts, at a time when test piloting was dangerous beyond description. These wives showed grace and bravery, knowing that some of them would someday get that awful knock on the door with the worst of news, but that all of them showed what Ernest Hemingway called grace under pressure.
Most people don't remember, but Tom Wolfe noted that as late as 1970, the odds that a Naval Aviator would be killed during a career were 23%, not counting combat related deaths. Annie Glenn and the other wives showed true valor and love, which paved the way for the triumph of women journeying into space themselves as astronaut-heroes.
Annie Glenn is greatly admired by all who know her, she radiates a dignity and goodwill that is an inspiration.
When the trumpet summoned the Glenns, for America and for the Democratic Party, they always answered the call and moved so many others to answer the call.
So a standing ovation for John and Annie Glenn, a hope that others in American public life can rise to the standards they set, and looking forward to so much more from them both, for a country that so greatly respects, and needs more than ever, their spirit and their service.