Citizens of the community gathered Oct. 11 to celebrate U.S. Rep. John Dingell, U.S. Sen. Carl Levin and state Sen. Randy Richardville for their efforts in the restoration of the River Raisin Battlefield National Park.
Dingell, Levin, and Richardville played a key role in pushing legislation through Congress and the Senate to make the River Raisin National Battlefield Park.
Congressman Tim Walberg introduced Dingell.
Dingell was on the frontlines of passing the legislation, coordinating local support, acquiring a multi-million dollar acquisition for the foundation and cleaning up the site.
“These are my people. I worked for them a long time to see this happen. We’re proud of it,” Dingell said.
Dingell is the longest serving member of Congress in the history of the United States and plans to retire this year.
Richardville was introduced by Brian Calley, the lieutenant governor of Michigan.
Richardville was instrumental in the acquisition of $2 million from the state of Michigan to help make the River Raisin National Battlefield Park possible.
"I just want to let you know that this is a great reward, but you don't have to thank me," Richardville said. "It was really a labor of love for me."
Richardville also added that he was proud that the national park was made possible due to bi-partisan cooperation.
“What I’m most proud of about this reward is that it didn’t matter if there was an ‘R’ or ‘D’ after your name. We knew that there was a legacy and the history and the group of people back home that were depending on us, so we worked side by side to get this done” Richardville said.
U.S. Sen. Debbie Stabenow introduced Levin.
With the help of Stabenow, Sen. Levin was able to introduce and usher through legislation that established the park as a unit of the National Park System.
“It’s always important to be mindful of our history and to learn from it and on occasion to take inspiration from it,” Levin said. “That’s reason enough to preserve the history of this battlefield.”
All of the night’s presenters voiced their support for MCCC’s millage, which will be on the ballot in November.