'Godspeed, John Glenn': Public hails hero of space, politics

AP News
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Posted: Dec 08, 2016 10:03 PM
'Godspeed, John Glenn': Public hails hero of space, politics

Tributes poured in for former astronaut and U.S. Sen. John Glenn, who died Thursday at age 95. Politicians, astronauts, educators and others called him a hero, with many mentioning the phrase that first sent him into orbit: "Godspeed, John Glenn."

Here's a look of some of the reactions:

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"When John Glenn blasted off from Cape Canaveral atop an Atlas rocket in 1962, he lifted the hopes of a nation. And when his Friendship 7 spacecraft splashed down a few hours later, the first American to orbit the Earth reminded us that with courage and a spirit of discovery there's no limit to the heights we can reach together. ... The last of America's first astronauts has left us, but propelled by their example we know that our future here on Earth compels us to keep reaching for the heavens. On behalf of a grateful nation, Godspeed, John Glenn." — President Barack Obama

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"Today we lost a great pioneer of air and space in John Glenn. He was a hero and inspired generations of future explorers. He will be missed." — President-elect Donald Trump, on Twitter

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"By his inspirational leadership spearheading our space program, John helped push back the horizon of discovery." — Former President George H.W. Bush, on Twitter

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"With the news today I'm saddened again to hear that we have lost the pioneer of space flight for the United States, second only to Yuri Gagarin, and he will always go down in history as certainly one of the most influential officers in the Marine Corps and of course as one of the original Mercury 7 astronauts." — Former astronaut Buzz Aldrin, the second man to walk on the moon

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"Glenn's extraordinary courage, intellect, patriotism and humanity were the hallmarks of a life of greatness. His missions have helped make possible everything our space program has since achieved and the human missions to an asteroid and Mars that we are striving toward now." — NASA Administrator Charles Bolden

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"The Corps lost a legend today. Col. John Glenn — an astronaut, a senator, a Marine — died at the age of 95. Semper Fi, Sir." — U.S. Marine Corps, on Twitter

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"On top of paving the way for the rest of us, he was also a first-class gentleman and an unabashed patriot." — U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson, D-Fla., who also flew in space

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"You look at John Glenn and his is really a life of service and we don't see enough of that. He is an honest-to-God hero in all kinds of ways." — Roger Launius, National Air and Space Museum associate director

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"John Glenn is, and always will be, Ohio's ultimate hometown hero, and his passing today is an occasion for all of us to grieve." — Ohio Gov. John Kasich

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"The Ohio State University community deeply mourns the loss of John Glenn, Ohio's consummate public servant and a true American hero." — Ohio State President Michael Drake

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"What made John Glenn a great senator was the same quality that made him a great astronaut and an iconic American hero: He saw enormous untapped potential in the nation he loved and he had faith that America could overcome any challenge." — U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio

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"John Glenn was an American hero. He flew 149 combat missions in two wars. He was the first American to orbit the Earth, and the longest-serving United States Senator in Ohio history." — U.S. Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio

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"John Glenn's enduring commitment to public service, devoted patriotism, and tremendous courage embody the very best of the American spirit." — House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif.

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"No one in this country epitomized the nobility and patriotism of public service more than Ohio's John Glenn." — Ohio Democratic Party Chairman David Pepper

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"All of us in the commercial space industry seek to honor John Glenn by advancing further along the path he blazed for humanity in space." — Eric Stallmer, president of the Commercial Spaceflight Federation

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"John Glenn understood that aviation isn't about flying, it's about freedom." — Elaine Roberts, head of John Glenn Columbus International Airport