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Funeral begins for longtime Rep. John Dingell

February 12, 2019
Associated Press

DEARBORN, Mich. (AP) — Former Vice President Joe Biden and other dignitaries are attending the funeral Tuesday for longtime Rep. John Dingell, a day after hundreds of people passed his coffin and were personally greeted by the family of America's longest-serving member of Congress.

Snow and icy weather briefly delayed the start of the funeral at the Church of the Divine Child in Dearborn, where police were shoveling snow and helping people inside. Dingell, who represented southeast Michigan for served 59 years in the House, died at his home on Thursday. He was 92.

Biden is expected to speak during the service. Other dignitaries and constituents are also attending, including Michigan's Sen. Debbie Stabenow and Rep. Brenda Lawrence.

Former constituents and admirers lined up Monday at a performing arts center in Dearborn to pay their respects. Dingell's casket was in a ballroom while oversized photos of his life were displayed in the lobby.

His wife, Rep. Debbie Dingell, who was elected to her husband's seat in 2014, stayed to greet everyone throughout the day, after some private moments near the casket.

Among those attending was Imad Hamad, who recalled how Dingell helped him with a thorny immigration problem that threatened his future in the U.S.

"I think John Dingell is not just an American hero to Americans. I think his model is a global model," Hamad said. "He is one of the few who gave politics a good meaning."

The visitation was the first of many public events this week. There will be a second funeral Mass on Thursday in Washington. A motorcade with Dingell's casket will pass the U.S. Capitol, where he held power for years as a House committee chairman. He will be interred at Arlington National Cemetery.

Former President Bill Clinton and former House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio will speak at the Washington service.


See AP's complete coverage of John Dingell here:



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