MUSKINGUM, OH (WCMH) — A recital at Muskingum University on Thursday payed tribute to John and Annie Glenn and their nearly century-long life of giving.
It was December 7th, 75 years ago when John Glenn left his boyhood home in New Concord to listen to a recital from his soon-to-be wife Annie, when he heard on the car radio Pearl Harbor had been bombed.
Using the original recital and songs played by then-college senior Annie Castor, Dixie Lee Hayes Heck, the Muskingum University class of 1964 recreated Annie’s recital to hundreds of listeners at the Brown Chapel on campus.
University history shows that soon after Glenn listened to that recital, he made his announcement to join the war effort.
“John said it best when he turned to Annie after the service and said ‘I have to go,’” said U. S. Army Sgt. 1st Class Troy Gray.
Both Glenns marched into history, Annie beating a life-long stuttering issue.
“We, each of us this day, hear the echoing strain of two lives so profoundly well lived,” Sgt. Gray said.
Marine fighter pilot John Glenn flew 149 combat missions in WW II and Korea. Married his childhood friend Annie soon after flight training, and was the first American to orbit earth. University board Chair Hal Burlingame grew up in New Concord and told Glenn he was thinking of retiring.
“He said, ‘don’t even think about that, when you get up encroaching 70, life is just really starting then and there are all kinds of fun and exciting days ahead to do,’ and that is the way he looked at life,” Burlingame said.
Glenn proved that by flying back in space aboard the shuttle Discovery in 1998, setting another record at age 77.
“We could not be more proud of, nor more grateful to John and Annie Glenn,” said Dr. Susan Hasseler, Muskingum University President.
The 911th Air Reserve Wing Honor Guard from Pittsburgh performed a flag folding ceremony. That flag was then presented to the university in remembrance of the Muskingum students and alumni who died in WW II.
The Glenn home and Museum is open both Saturday and Sunday from 1-4 p.m.