A Salute to Senator Daniel Inouye
Hawaii Senator Daniel Inouye was a WWII combat veteran, a Medal of Honor recipient, and the longest-serving senator in U.S. history. Inouye sadly passed away from respiratory complications. He was 88 years old. He had been hospitalized since early December for the complications, and his staff reported his last word was, “Aloha.”
A Japanese-American, Inouye was 17-years-old when the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941. Inouye recalled, "I was filled with grief as I came to the realization that the pilots who had dropped the bombs were people who looked like me," he told the Washington Post. He grew up wanting to be a doctor, but joined the 442nd Regimental Combat Team, a group made up of all Japanese Americans, when the government permitted "Nisei" (Americans born of Japanese immigrants) to enlist in the military.
Amidst a battlefield in Italy during WWII, Inouye was responsible for destroying three enemy machine gun nests, while he was shot with bullets through his abdomen and extremities. It was a grenade that almost completely tore off his right arm that had to be amputated at an Army hospital.
After losing his arm in battle, he returned to school to pursue a political career, and further went on to graduate from The George Washington University Law School. It was then, in 1953, he was elected into the House of Representatives for two terms, and then was elected as Senator in Hawaii in 1957. He won his ninth term in his Senate seat in 2010.
Back in 2000, Senator Daniel Inouye received the Medal of Honor, along with 22 other Asian American veterans after reviewing their military records. Inouye was also awarded the Distinguished Service Cross, the Bronze Star Medal, as well as the Purple Heart.
Inouye may not have been as well known outside of Hawaii, but it is American heroes like him who are incredibly fascinating, and will always remain one of the best icons of American history. Today we remember and salute a real American hero.
Posted by MichaelMears at December 17, 2012 8:03 PM
Senator Daniel Inouye not only distinguished himself on the battle field serving his country at a time when it needed him. But he also distinguished himself by serving his country in the face of the atrocity being perpetrated against his people.
My prayers are with his family.
A great patriot. A great politician. A man who served the people, not a political party or an ideaology set in concrete. Where are such men today?
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