COLUMBUS: Two days of public events celebrating the life of US astronaut John Glenn began Friday (Saturday in Manila) in his native Ohio, where the body of the first American to orbit Earth lay in state. Glenn, who was also the first senior citizen to venture into space, died last week at the age of 95. The former astronaut became a symbol of strength and of America’s pioneering spirit, drawing admirers from all walks of life over a long career in the military, then NASA, and the US Senate. The Ohio-born Glenn’s body lay in state at the Ohio Statehouse rotunda in the capital Columbus—an honor usually bestowed upon high-ranking government officials. In a solemn and quiet procession, a line of mourners filed past Glenn’s flag-draped coffin, guarded by US Marines. One or two people at a time stood before the coffin for a few moments of reflection. Glenn’s widow Annie arrived late in the afternoon, accompanied by dignitaries including US Secretary of State John Kerry, Ohio Governor John Kasich and others. Glenn’s coffin was to remain at the rotunda until Saturday afternoon, when a public memorial was planned.