Ceremonies honor astronaut and former Senator John Glenn

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(NBC News) – Crowds gathered at the Ohio capitol Friday to honor John Glenn.

They came to say goodbye to an American icon and hometown hero.

Glenn was a fighter pilot, astronaut, successful businessman and Senator, the first American to orbit the planet, and at age 77 the oldest to travel to space.

Still, his home and heart were always in Ohio.

“The Senator meant so much to us but he was even more than just a political figure,” said Ohio State Representative Hearcel Craig. “Thank God for his service, thank God for who he was as a person, what he mean to the state of Ohio and certainly to this nation and this world.”

Vice President Joe Biden and others will speak Saturday at a memorial service on the Ohio State University campus. Glenn will be buried during a private service at Arlington National Cemetery.

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