The happiest and most fulfilled people are those who devoted themselves to something bigger and more profound than merely their own self-interest. John Glenn
God will not forget your work and the love you have shown as you have helped people and continue to help them. Hebrews 6:10
Spirit of Christ who trains our hearts for service: Help us appreciate the servants among us and grow in our devotion to serve. Amen
They were a couple all their lives—met as toddlers! Annie was married to John Glenn, the hero astronaut and first American to orbit the earth. She struggled with severe stuttering that became a painful challenge when she was thrust into NASA’s spotlight as portrayed in the Hollywood film, The Right Stuff.
But Annie overcame her speech limitations while living in Washington and serving as the wife of a U.S. Senator. She became a public speaker and advocate for persons with speech disabilities. She and John served out four terms before leaving politics.
Annie testified that she had given John Glenn up to serve our country for 55 years and it was now time to take him back! But John Glenn embarked on one more mission in space at age 77—to test the effects of weightlessness on the elderly.
After 73 years of marriage Annie Glenn buried John at Arlington in 2017 on the day that would have been their wedding anniversary. She died yesterday of complications from Covid-19. Annie was 100 years old.
The people I live with keep asking the same question: Why don’t we have more wise, good-hearted and competent people in positions of power?
I don’t think anyone has a good answer to that question. The only theory I have is this: Many people who seek positions of power, or are able to ascend power structures, are disinclined to use their power to serve the public good. And people like Annie and John Glenn, who use their strength to serve, are less likely enter a toxic political arena.
Nevertheless, many gifted people have given their whole lives to public service. Annie Glenn was one of those people, and there are many others.
Who are your mentors and guides in public leadership? It’s so important that we celebrate their work, send them notes of thanks and talk them up at our dinner tables. Let’s not allow the bad apples to spoil our appreciation for true public servants.
We’re heading into one of those political seasons, you know. How can we influence our community with wise prayers, good thoughts and a hopeful outlook? I believe that all those things have true power to transform situations and foster healing in our society.