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Flags ordered to half-staff in honor of John Glenn

STS-95 mission Commander Curtis Brown (L) and Payload Specialist John Glenn conduct a news conference on the aft flight deck of the Space Shuttle Discovery in this NASA handout image dated November 1, 1998. File photo. Courtesy NASA/Handout via REUTERS1 / 2
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BISMARCK - Gov. Doug Burgum has directed state government agencies and encouraged North Dakotans to fly the United States and North Dakota flags at half-staff as a mark of respect for the memory of astronaut and public servant John Glenn.

Glenn, who died Dec. 8 at the age of 95, will be interred in Arlington National Cemetery on Thursday, April 6.

Burgum's directive is in accordance with a proclamation issued by the President Donald Trump on Wednesday and will remain in effect until sunset Thursday.

Trump's order requires all American flags to be flown at half-staff at the White House, federal buildings, military posts and on Navy vessels until sunset Thursday.

Glenn was the first American to orbit the Earth. He Also served many years as a U.S. senator.

He was also a war hero, flying 149 combat missions and winning six Distinguished Flying Crosses as a U.S. Navy and a Marine Corps aviator in World War II and the Korean War. He then moved on to becoming a test pilot.

As one of the "Mercury Seven" astronauts who pioneered spaceflight for NASA, he orbited the Earth three times in the Friendship 7 capsule on Feb. 20, 1962.

He was also the oldest astronaut ever at age 77, returning to space as a payload specialist on the space shuttle Discovery on Oct. 29, 1998.

In all, he spent 218 hours in space, orbited the Earth another 134 times, and racked up more than 3.6 million miles of space travel.

Glenn represented Ohio in the Senate as a Democrat from 1974 to 1999.

Among his many honors, he received the Presidential Medal of Freedom and Congressional Gold Medal.