Michigan National Guard Soldiers and Airmen Provide Honor Guard for Longest Serving Congressman

A flag draped casket for U.S. Representative John Dingell is guard by members of the Michigan National Guard Honor Guard in Dearborn, Michigan as thousands of constituents lined to pay their final respects to their long serving member of congress.

DEARBORN, MI, UNITED STATES

02.13.2019

Story by Lt. Col. John Hall

Michigan National Guard

LANSING, Mich. – To honor the 59 years of congressional service to the citizens of Michigan, the Michigan National Guard, Honor Guard, provided funeral honors to former U.S. Representative John Dingell in Dearborn, Mich. February 11-12.

An Honor Guard Casket Detail from the Michigan Army and Air National Guard, along with Honor Guards from Michigan police departments, stood watch by the casket of Rep. John Dingell as thousands of Michigan residents paid their final respects at the Ford Community Arts Center, in Dearborn, Mich. Feb. 11th from 10:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m.

The following day, at the Church of the Divine Child in Dearborn, Mich., officers from the Michigan National Guard, provided escort for the Governor and Lt. Governor of Michigan, along with members of the Michigan legislature and United States Congress. Representing the Michigan National Guard were Maj. Gen. Paul Rogers, the Adjutant General of Michigan, and Brig. Gen. John Slocum, the 127th Wing Commander, along with other Soldiers and Airmen.

An Honor Guard made up of police officers from the Dearborn Police Department, carried his casket into the church, where the American flag was ceremoniously folded. Salutes were rendered by Soldiers from the Michigan National Guard who were serving as escorts, while his wife, U.S. Representative Debbie Dengell stood with former Vice-President Joe Biden, and a delegation of his former congressional staffers rendered their respects as honorary pall bearers.

“We mourn today because we knew John,” the Honorable Joe Biden, Jr. stated in the opening of his eulogy that was at times both moving and humorous. He pointed out that John Dingell was a man who loved humor and used it to connect with the citizens of his congressional district over the nearly six decades he represented them. Both he and the priest told of how constituents who had never actually spoken to their congressman, still felt that they knew him, because he represented their beliefs so well. This about a representative who is responsible for such wide sweeping legislation as the Endangered Species Act and Universal Health Care.

Immediately following the service, the congressman was moved back to the hearse, where he was driven to a U.S. Air Force C-17 waiting on a back runway of Detroit Metropolitan Airport. There he was met again by the Michigan National Guard Honor Guard who delivered a dignified transfer of his remains aboard the aircraft for his final trip to Washington, D.C. where he is to be buried at Arlington National Cemetery.

Staff Sgt. Terence Dickinson, who lead the Michigan Honor Guard, stated, “It was a special honor to represent the United States Army and the Michigan National Guard today as we pay our last respects to congressman John Dingell who served his country in World War 2 and then returned home to serve his community for the rest of his life.”

https://www.dvidshub.net/news/310592/michigan-national-guard-soldiers-and-airmen-provide-honor-guard-longest-serving-congressman

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