John Glenn, the first American to orbit the Earth and one of NASA’s original seven Mercury astronauts, will be laid to rest Thursday at Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, Virginia.
The ceremony is expected to begin around 9 a.m. on Thursday, April 6. Watch live in the player above.
Glenn died in December at age 95. Thursday would have been his 74th wedding anniversary with his widow, Annie Glenn.
Before joining NASA, the Ohio native was a highly decorated Marine pilot in World War II and the Korean War, flying 149 combat missions. In 1957, he set a transcontinental speed record, flying from Los Angeles to New York in 3 hours and 23 minutes.
He worked for NASA from 1959 to 1964 before working as an executive for Royal Crown Cola and then launching a bid for the U.S. Senate. He served for 25 years before retiring in 1999.
Space also beckoned again: In 1998, he blasted off aboard the space shuttle Discovery as part of a mission to study space’s impact on elderly bodies. Here, he set another record, as the oldest person ever to fly in space.
“I think if we can help some of these events of the past help bring alive some of those experiences for our young people today,” Glenn said when asked by PBS NewsHour’s Judy Woodruff what it means to him to be seen as a hero, “where we whet their interest in science and technology and engineering and math, it will all be well worthwhile.”