The best speech John Glenn ever made: short and to the point.
Below is a piece that I posted on my website as it was originally written. Below that you will find some comments and explanations. Michael Ford
Some people still don't understand why military personnel do what they do for a living. The following exchange
between Senator John Glenn (D -OH) and Senator Howard Metzenbaum (D - OH) is worth reading. Not only is it a
pretty impressive and impromptu speech, but it's also a good example of one man's explanation of why men and
women in the Armed Services do what they do for a living. This IS a typical, though sad, example of what some
who have never served think of the Military.
Senator Metzenbaum to Senator Glenn: "How can you run for the Senate when you've never held a "real job?"
Senator Glenn: "I served 23 years in the United States Marine Corps. I served through two wars. I flew 149
missions. My plane was hit by anti-aircraft fire on 12 different occasions. I was in the Space Program.
It wasn't my checkbook, Howard, it was my Life on the line. It was not a 9 to 5 job, where I took time off
to take the daily cash receipts to the bank. I ask you to go with me ... as I went the other day ... to a
Veterans Hospital and look those men - with their mangled bodies - in the eye, and tell THEM they didn't
hold a job! You go with me to the Space Program at NASA and go, as I have gone, to the widows and orphans
of Ed White, Gus Grissom and Roger Chaffee ... and you look those kids in the eye and tell them that their
DADS didn't hold a job. You go with me on Memorial Day and you stand in Arlington National Cemetery, where
I have more friends buried than I'd like to remember, and you watch those waving flags.
You stand there, and you think about this Nation, and you tell ME that those people didn't have a job?
I'll tell you, Howard Metzenbaum... you should be on your knees every day of our life thanking God that
there were some men - SOME MEN - who held a REAL job.
And they required a dedication to a purpose - and a love of country and a dedication to duty - that was
more important than life itself. And their self-sacrifice is what made this country possible. I HAVE
held a job, Howard! --- What about you?"
For those who don't remember - During WW II, Howard Metzenbaum was an attorney representing the Communist
Party in the USA. Now he is a Senator!
If you can read this, thank a teacher.... If you are reading it in English, thank a Veteran.......
I carried the above piece after receiving it from several creditable sources, therefore I had no reason to believe that it was not
completely factually correct. The writer directed me to www.snopes.com and I read their comments on the matter. They said the
item quoted is a relatively faithful transcript of candidate John Glennís remarks during a 1974 debate with Howard Metzenbaum
for the Democratic nomination to a U.S. Senate seat. The way the article was presented to me originally the speech seemed to
take place in Congress at a later date.
According to snopes.com rancor between businessman Howard Metzenbaum and John Glenn grew out of the 1970 Democratic
primary in Ohio for the U.S. Senate seat which Glenn lost to Metzenbaum. (Metzenbaum lost the general election to Robert Taft, Jr.,
but got appointed to the Senate when Ohioís other senator accepted a nomination as U.S. Attorney General.) Glenn came away bitter
over a false rumor, attributed to a Metzenbaum aide, that he and his wife were on the verge of a divorce. Glenn challenged Metzenbaum
once again in the 1974 Democratic primary.
According to snopes, the 1974 race was even more contentious than the earlier campaign. Metzenbaum began referring to Glenn
disdainfully as "Colonel Glenn." He was a World War II and Korean War veteran and had retired as a colonel from the Marine Corps
in 1965. In 1974 America had just ended its long and controversial involvement in Vietnam, and I was still on active duty. I well
remember the attitude a portion of the community had toward American servicemen.
Some days before a May 3rd 1974 debate at the Cleveland City Club, Metzenbaum (an entrepreneur who had created the
Sun Newspapers chain in the 1960s and had co-founded APCOA, one of the nation's largest parking companies) charged
that "Colonel Glenn" had never "met a payroll," implying that Glenn's background as a career military man meant he was lacking
in the real-world business experience a U.S. Senator should possess. (Metzenbaum's claim wasn't true: After retirement, Glenn
held a position with Royal Crown Cola serving both on the board of directors and as president of Royal Crown International.)
Metzenbaum's comment was interpreted by many, including Glenn, as a slam that Glenn had "never held a (real) job, even though
Metzenbaum hadn't actually used those words. Glenn went into the Cleveland debate a few days later well-prepared to answer the charges.
Metzenbaum didn't raise the "job" issue during the debate, but Glenn seized the opportunity to launch into his carefully-crafted "I have held
a job" retort. Although it was a rehearsed speech rather than the impromptu response legend has since made it out to be, and it did not
happen in Congress.
I try to always get my facts completely straight. And, it appears my story was generally accurate, but perhaps not completely so.
Scopes.com implied Metzenbaum was trying to demean Glenn, using his military service against him. While I may not agree with Glenn
politically I am tenderly disposed to people who have served this country in the military, and I think we can say John Glenn did that.
I do like to
be absolutely correct in what I say,
of accounting for our conduct and would never intentionally make the slightest error. It is difficult when you cover as much material as
I do to get everything absolutely correct, but that is always my objective.
I greatly appreciate it when anyone brings a problem out to me. My whole intent in keeping this website is to provide
information useful to Christians and patriotic Americans. To do this I must set a certain standard while seeking to glorify my
Lord Jesus Christ.
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Buchanan, Georgia 30113