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Trump signs bill to rename Detroit post office after Aretha Franklin

Melissa Nann Burke
The Detroit News

President Donald Trump on Tuesday signed a bill to name a Detroit post office after the legendary singer Aretha Franklin, who died in 2018.

The legislation, which passed the U.S. Senate last month, renames the U.S. Postal Service facility at 12711 E. Jefferson Ave. in Detroit after Franklin. 

Aretha Franklin

U.S. Rep. Brenda Lawrence, D-Southfield, sponsored the bill and last month said she was "thrilled" by its passage and the chance to honor Franklin, who was a friend of hers. 

She said it was "yet another opportunity to celebrate the outstanding life and legacy of our beloved ‘Queen of Soul,’ Aretha Franklin.”

Trump also signed legislation Tuesday to rename the Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Ann Arbor after Lt. Col. Charles S. Kettles of Ypsilanti. 

Kettles, who died in January 2019, served in the Vietnam War as an Army helicopter commander. He was awarded the Medal of Honor in 2016 for leading a rescue operation that saved the lives of 44 soldiers in May 1967.

Kettles "never asked for recognition or sought the spotlight for his selfless service and courage," said Rep. Debbie Dingell, D-Dearborn, who sponsored the renaming bill. 

"But by engraving his name above the Ann Arbor VAMC, we will ensure his story is told for generations and his legacy cherished by all who seek care within those walls." 

Sen. Gary Peters, D-Bloomfield Township, sponsored the bill in the Senate with Sen. Debbie Stabenow, D-Lansing. 

“LTC Kettles’ bravery, selflessness and commitment to his fellow servicemembers embodied the values that make our military — and nation — so strong,” Peters said.

“As Michiganders, we are forever proud to call him a native son — and his exemplary service will continue to inspire generations to come.”

mburke@detroitnews.com