Duluth, MN (NNCNOW.com) --- Vessels traveling on the Great Lakes will lower their flags to half–mast on Thursday in honor of former Congressman Jim Oberstar who passed away over the weekend.
The Lake Carriers' Association says Oberstar represented Minnesota's iron ore mining and shipping industries in the House of Representatives from 1974–2011.
"Great Lakes shipping has lost its greatest friend and staunchest supporter. He was at the forefront of every effort to make waterborne commerce on the Lakes and Seaway safer and more efficient," President of Lake Carriers' Association, James H.I. Weakley, said.
"When the U.S. Coast Guard proposed to retire its most powerful icebreaker on the Lakes, the Mackinaw, without replacement, Oberstar demanded the cutter remain in service until a replacement was built. The new Mackinaw was launched in 2006," Weakley added.
Oberstar served 18 terms in the House and chaired the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure from 2007–2011.
The U.S. House will have a Moment of Silence Tuesday evening in honor of the late Jim Oberstar. The House will also have a time for formal tributes to Oberstar on May 19 after the last votes of the day.