The late Rep. John Dingell, who died Thursday at age 92, dictated one last opinion piece to his wife the day he died in which he expressed his pride in helping fix some of America's problems during his 59 years in Congress.
The Michigan Democrat, whose wife, Debbie, succeeded him in the House four years ago after he retired, spoke his final public words just hours before his death after a battle with cancer.
In a Washington Post opinion piece, Dingell mentioned issues such as pollution, the consumption of hazardous foods, drugs and chemicals, and racial discrimination that plagued America's history.
"Please note: All of these challenges were addressed by Congress. Maybe not as fast as we wanted, or as perfectly as hoped," Dingell wrote. "The work is certainly not finished. But we've made progress — and in every case, from the passage of Medicare through the passage of civil rights, we did it with the support of Democrats and Republicans who considered themselves first and foremost to be Americans.
"I'm immensely proud, and eternally grateful, for having had the opportunity to play a part in all of these efforts during my service in Congress. And it's simply not possible for me to adequately repay the love that my friends, neighbors and family have given me and shown me during my public service and retirement."
Dingell, who retired in 2015 as the longest serving member of Congress, then thanked his wife for being at his side for 40 years and for her own public service.
He closed the piece by expressing hope that the nation's current leaders will do what's right.
"As I prepare to leave this all behind, I now leave you in control of the greatest nation of mankind and pray God gives you the wisdom to understand the responsibility you hold in your hands," he said.
"May God bless you all, and may God bless America."
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