John & Debbie Dingell named Grand Marshals for America's Thanksgiving Parade announce

Published On: Oct 16 2012 10:51:07 AM EDT
Updated On: Nov 07 2012 06:57:47 PM EST

The Parade Company has announced Congressman John D. Dingell and Debbie Dingell as as Grand Marshals for America’s Thanksgiving Parade®, an 86-year tradition, and one of the country’s largest and longest-running parades on Thursday, November 22nd along Woodward Avenue in Detroit.

"We look forward to welcoming Congressman Dingell and Debbie Dingell as America’s Thanksgiving Parade Grand Marshals as we celebrate 86 years of parade history," said Tony Michaels, President & CEO of The Parade Company. "The Dingells work tirelessly to advance our community and are role models to us all. It is a privilege to be able to honor them on Thanksgiving morning."

John Dingell has a long and storied history representing the people of Michigan. He was elected to Congress to fill his father’s seat when he passed away while in office. His father was one of the original authors of the Social Security Act and Medicare and John Dingell has kept that legacy at the forefront of his legislative priorities. Congressman Dingell is now the Dean of the House and was recently voted the wisest man in Congress by Republican and Democrats alike.

Read: Metro Detroiters can get their tickets for America's Thanksgiving Parade

A public servant who believes fervently in democracy, his first fights – while he was a minority voice – were for civil rights, clean water, Medicare and protecting American labor and working families. All are now considered the hallmarks of Dingell’s career.

His concern over the contamination of the Detroit and Rouge Rivers spurred him to become a champion for the environment. Both rivers are now clean. Dingell went on to write the Endangered Species Act, the 1990 Clean Air Act, the Safe Drinking Water Act and authored legislation creating America’s first International Wildlife Refuge along the Detroit River.

His legendary oversight to uncover waste, fraud, and abuse earned him the title, “America’s Watchdog.” Like his father, he has adopted the enduring cause of quality health care and authored the Patient’s Bill of Rights, the Children’s Health Insurance Program, the Mammography Quality Standards Act, the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act and the Prescription Drug User Fee Act – all leading up to the Affordable Care Act into law – an act he authored and President Obama signed into law.

"We are privileged to be a part of this cherished, world class event celebrating our city, community and our country," said Congressman Dingell. "We couldn’t be more honored to have been invited to participate in this nationally recognized event."

Slideshow: John Dingell over the years

Debbie Dingell, currently the President of D2 Strategies and Chair of the Manufacturing Initiative of the American Automotive Policy Council, has a strong history of public service as an active civic and community leader in both Michigan and Washington, D.C. and is a recognized national advocate for women and children. She currently chairs several boards, initiatives and committees and sits on numerous cultural, health, social services and civic boards in both Michigan and Washington, D.C., including The Parade Company, where she has been Chairperson and is currently an executive board member. Dingell has served as President of the GM Foundation and was Executive Director of Public Affairs. The Dingells separately and together are strong advocates for Michigan and love this state.

"The traditions and memories The Parade Company creates with family events such as the beloved America's Thanksgiving Parade are integral components of bringing this community together," said Debbie Dingell. "The Parade Company has always held and will continue to hold a special legacy in our hearts and does a wonderful job of shining a grand spotlight on Detroit each year."

America's Thanksgiving Parade, one of the country’s oldest and most celebrated parades, will step-off on Woodward Avenue in Detroit on Thursday, November 22 at 9:15 a.m. The two-hour Parade will be featured on WDIV-TV Local 4 including a one-hour national broadcast in approximately 140 markets and cities nationwide. News/Talk 760 WJR will also broadcast live from the Parade. For more information on The Parade Company, visit www.theparade.org or call 313.923.7400.

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Slideshow: Relive parade magic moments

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