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Muskingum University will hold a special chapel service titled “A Call to Service: A Remembrance” on Thursday, Dec. 8 at 11 a.m. in Brown Chapel on the campus. The service commemorates a pivotal day, Dec. 7, 1941, in the lives of John Glenn and his wife, Annie Castor Glenn, and for the nation as a whole.
At 10:30 a.m., “Out of Silence: The Annie Glenn Story,” a 2010 video created by Professors Tom German and Jeff Harman, and written and narrated by Dr. Lorle Porter, will be shown. This event is free and open to the public.
Viewed through the prism of history, that day in 1941 today represents a juxtaposition of the hopes and dreams of John Glenn and Annie Castor as a young couple planning a life together and the ominous rumblings of World War II when the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor.
For Annie Castor, then a student at Muskingum, it was the day of her senior organ recital in Brown Chapel, representing a high point in her college career. But, as he traveled to Muskingum to hear her performance, John Glenn learned on his car radio that the Japanese had attacked Pearl Harbor and that the United States was at war.
The young Glenn decided not to tell Annie about the attack until after the recital, but he recalled later that he immediately knew that the day would forever change both of their lives.
Years later, reflecting on that moment, Senator Glenn said, “That evening, Annie and I decided what our responsibilities were and what I had to do. The decisions we made that day were, indeed, fateful. They constituted one of the major turning points in our lives. A few days later, I volunteered for flight training, and over the next 23 years, I flew 149 combat missions in World War II and Korea as a Marine fighter pilot.”
Glenn’s decision to volunteer for the war effort was the beginning of a lifetime service to the nation that he and Annie would share. He would go on to serve as an astronaut, a United States Senator and as a presidential candidate and she would serve as an advocate for those with communication disorders.
The chapel service marking the historic day for the Glenns and the nation will be conducted by Muskingum University Chaplain Rev. Will Mullins, who is a major in the United States Air Force. Music for the service will be coordinated by Assistant Professors of Music Dr. David Turrill and Dr. Zebulon Highben.
The opening prayer will be given by Muskingum University student Troy Gray, who serves in the U.S. Army. The 911th Air Reserve Wing (Pittsburgh) Color Guard will conduct a flag folding, and the names of all Muskingum University students and alumni who perished in World War II will be read. The playing of Echoing Taps will follow.
Rev. Mullins’s message for the service is titled “Be Still My Soul.” Organist Dixie Lee Hayes Heck and the Muskingum Chamber Singers will lead the hymnody, including a rendition of “This Is My Song,” set to Finlandia by Jean Sibelius, which was one of Annie Castor’s recital selections and one of Senator Glenn’s favorites
For more information, contact Muskingum University Chaplain Will Mullins at 740-826-8120.