John D. Dingell, the longest-serving member of Congress in American history has died. He was 92 years old.
“He was a lion of the United States Congress and a loving son, father, husband, grandfather, and friend. He will be remembered for his decades of public service to the people of Southeast Michigan, his razor sharp wit, and a lifetime of dedication to improving the lives of all who walk this earth,” read a statement from the office of Rep. Debbie Dingell, his wife and successor in the House.
The statement goes on to say that Dingell “died peacefully” at his home in Dearborn.
Rep. Debbie Dingell released a statement on Tuesday explaining her absence from Donald Trump’s State of the Union address, saying that she was home with her husband as they “entered a new phase.”
Congressman Dingell dedicated his life to serving his country. He joined the Army when he was 18 years old and fought in World War II before serving 59 years in Congress to become the longest-serving Member of Congress in history.
During his time in Congress, he was elected to serve as Chairman of the powerful Energy and Commerce Committee. Congressman Dingell played a crucial role in passing some of the most monumental laws of the past century, including the Clean Water Act, the Clean Air Act, Medicare, and the Affordable Care Act.
Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has ordered U.S. and Michigan flags within the State Capitol Complex and on all state buildings to be lowered to half-staff on Friday, Feb. 8, 2019, to honor the life and service of ‘The Dean’ of Congress, former Congressman John D. Dingell.
The State of Michigan recognizes the duty, honor and selfless service of former Congressman John D. Dingell by lowering flags to half-staff. Michigan residents, businesses, schools, local governments and other organizations also are encouraged to display the flag at half-staff.
To lower flags to half-staff, flags should be hoisted first to the peak for an instant and then lowered to the half-staff position. The process is reversed before the flag is lowered for the day.
Flags should be returned to full-staff two days after the Congressman’s interment.
There has been an outpouring of condolences with politicians from both sides of the aisle paying their respects which at a time where the country seems so divided says a lot about the measure of John Dingell’s character and impact.