COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Final funeral rites for astronaut John Glenn will take place Thursday at Arlington National Cemetery.
His family and invited guests, including astronauts and dignitaries, will say goodbye to the first American to orbit Earth at a small private service at the Old Post Chapel beginning at 9 a.m.
The U.S. Marine Corps will begin a live stream at 9:40 a.m. that will include a processional to the graveside by caisson, a flyover, a graveside service and taps. Streaming video also will be available on NASA TV .
In Glenn’s honor, President Donald Trump has ordered flags at federal entities and institutions flown at half-staff Thursday, his press secretary tweeted, and Ohio Gov. John Kasich has done the same at public grounds and buildings across Glenn’s home state.
There was a public outpouring of admiration for the former fighter pilot, history-making astronaut and longtime Democratic U.S. senator from small-town Ohio after he died on Dec. 8 at age 95.
Thousands of mourners visited his flag-draped casket as it lay in repose at the Ohio Statehouse for a longer period than assassinated President Abraham Lincoln and others in history.
After a funeral procession through the heart of Ohio’s capital city, a “celebration of life” for Glenn drew roughly 2,500 people, including then-Vice President Joe Biden, current and former governors and many other dignitaries.
Those close to the family said they felt a sense of duty in allowing the public to mark Glenn’s passing with the well-attended Ohio events, but they would like to reserve Thursday’s burial service as a period for more personal mourning.
Glenn’s widow, Annie, is 97. The two met in childhood in New Concord, Ohio, and have two children.
Glenn’s pioneering Mercury 7 flight in 1962 made him an instant national hero. He became the oldest man in space when he returned aboard the space shuttle Discovery in 1998 at age 77.
He had many accomplishments outside of his career as an astronaut. He flew 149 missions as a Marine fighter pilot in World War II and Korea, broke the transcontinental air speed record, served 24 years in the U.S. Senate and founded the John Glenn College of Public Affairs at Ohio State University.