Vice President Joe Biden said Saturday the late astronaut and former Sen. John Glenn will be remembered by Americans not just for his decades of accomplishments, but for exemplifying what love looks like through his life.

“Jill and I are here because we love you, Annie, and we loved John,” Biden said at Glenn’s memorial service inside the Mershon Auditorium at Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio. “And together, you taught us all how to love. That’s not something you usually talk about when you talk about heroes, especially heroes like John Glenn, who lived a life that was rigorous but tinged with just a little bit of magic — just a little bit of magic. We talk about daring spirit, toughness under pressure, mental and physical toughness.”

But Biden, an old colleague of the former U.S. senator, said that for all of Glenn’s fame and success, “you felt something deeper with John.”

The last time Biden and his wife, Dr. Jill Biden, were together with John and Annie Glenn was at the vice president’s residence in Washington, D.C., though Biden did not mention the exact date. In looking back at a picture of that day while flying to Columbus from Washington on Saturday, Biden said he was struck by a poem that came to mind.

“The words of the poet Christopher Marlo literally came to mind. And I had to rewrite this on the way in the plane. Christopher Marlo said ‘come with me and be my love, and all the pleasures we shall prove,'” Biden said. “Together, Annie, you and John proved all the pleasures. You not only had a magical love affair. The other thing about you, you were partners. You were partners,” said a tearful Biden.

Glenn viewed all people as equals, which Biden said he witnessed in daily moments on a regular basis.

“Together, you and John taught us that a good life is built not on a single historic act or multiple acts of heroism but in a thousand little things – a thousand little things have built character. Treating everyone with dignity and respect,” Biden explained. “John was one of the few of might have colleagues when we’d go into a restroom where there’s a shoe shine guy, John would always pat him on the shoulder and give him a hug. Understanding that despite fame and position, everybody was John’s equal. Everybody was John’s equal in his mind. It all comes down to being personable.”

Glenn died on Dec. 8 at the age of 95. He was the ninth Ohioan to ever lie in state at the capitol building. Thousands of people paid their respects in a public viewing of Glenn’s flag-draped casket on Friday, including Secretary of State John Kerry.

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