There are those rare individuals who somehow have the grace and dignity to carry themselves in life with class and courage. On Monday, Hawaii Senator Daniel K. Inouye passed away at Walter Reed Medical Center at age 88.
Inouye served in the Senate since 1963. He would've been celebrating his 50th year in Senate this year and his tenth term. Inouye earned the reputation and admiration for encouraging bipartisan work so that necessary legislation could move forward. He had been a member of the committees for Commerce, Science and Transportation and Indian Affairs. The people of Hawaii were very important to him and he worked tirelessly to help make sure that Hawaii's infrastructure, economy and natural resources were strong and protected. Under his watch, Hawaii saw that residents received more job training, support services, help for small businesses. National Parks and wildlife refuges were increased and offered protection to sea life and animals native to Hawaii. A war veteran, he championed the causes to help improve the quality of life for military men and women and their families. Inouye was a member of the Senate Watergate Committee in the 1970s which eventually led to the resignation of President Richard Nixon in 1974. He is also remembered for voting against the Iraq War resolution in 2002 with Senator Daniel Akaka and voting for a 2006 resolution to withdraw all combat troops from Iraq by 2007.
Inouye was also a distinguished member of the U.S. Army.
Inouye received his education with assistance from the G.I. Bill and graduated from the University of Hawaii and George Washington Law School. He came back to Hawaii and worked as a Deputy Public Prosecutor for the City of Honolulu. When Hawaii became a state on August 21, 1959, Daniel Inouye won his election to the U.S. House of Representatives as Hawaii's first Congressman. When Inouye was sworn in, he had the distinction of being the first Congressman from Hawaii and the first American of Japanese origin to serve in either House of Congress.
A war veteran who was an advocate of helping veterans through the years, he understood their struggles and always worked hard to make sure that he could be a voice for them and give his signature for what he thought was in the best interest of the men and women who wear our nation's uniform. With this, I dedicate to you Senator Dan Inouye, Aloha and thank you for your extraordinary service.
Donna Teresa can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org