New Concord church honors the life and service of John Glenn

NEW CONCORD, Ohio (WCMH) — It was a service and candlelit vigil to remember the life and service of astronaut-hero John Glenn.

Glenn called the Westminster Presbyterian Church his home church, and the members of that church wanted to honor the man who never forgot where his home was.

“He’s always remembered us, and we want to remember him,” said church elder George Sinclair.

Church pianist Jerry Gibson said he is honored to play a small part in remembering someone he called a friend.

“It’s kind of a summary, a closing, a winding up of a friendship,” Gibson said.

Gibson said he’s had his run-ins with Glenn, but one moment stands out above the rest.

He was a young teenager watching his hometown hero come back to this church after serving our country.

“I can close my eyes, and I can still see him come out on the steps in a full, white dress uniform,” said Gibson. “I thought that was so impressive.”

It was those memories of Glenn as a hometown guy that brought this crowd to Westminster Presbyterian.

It was also a time to listen to the now famous story of how he told his wife, Annie, that he was just going down the road to get a stick of gum before he went to war.

Some believe that’s where he is now.

“John’s just gone down to the store for gum,” said former Muskingum basketball coach Jim Burson. “He’s not coming back, but we’re going to meet him.”

During the service, sticks of gum were passed out to everyone inside in remembrance of Glenn. They said you can either keep it or chew it, just as long as you remember Glenn’s legacy.

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