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Old 12-17-2012, 11:42 PM
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Goodnight sweet prince

I often disagreed with his politics but never doubted his patriotism and commitment to good government.

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Democratic Senator Daniel Inouye of Hawaii dead at 88

By Kim Dixon

WASHINGTON | Mon Dec 17, 2012 9:47pm EST

(Reuters) - Democratic Senator Daniel Inouye, a decorated World War Two veteran who lost an arm in battle and represented Hawaii in Congress since its statehood more than a half century ago, died on Monday at age 88.

Inouye, who was chairman of the powerful Senate Appropriations Committee and third in the line of presidential succession as the Senate's senior member, died of complications from a respiratory illness, his office said in a statement.

"Aloha" was the last word he spoke, the statement said.

The son of a Japanese immigrant father and a Hawaii-born mother whose parents came from Japan, Inouye and his family were declared "enemy aliens" by the U.S. government at the outbreak of World War Two. Inouye would later rise to become the highest-ranking elected Asian-American official in U.S. politics.

During a political career spanning seven decades, he gained national attention on the Senate Watergate Committee and as chairman of the Select Intelligence Committee during the 1970s.

He was also chairman of a special panel that investigated the Iran-Contra affair - involving secret U.S. support of anti-Communist Nicaraguan rebels with illegal sales of missiles to Iran - during Ronald Reagan's presidency in the 1980s.

At the time, he criticized what he called a "shadowy government with ... the ability to pursue its own ideas of the national interest, free from all checks and balances, and free from the law itself."

His death, at the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in suburban Maryland, was announced on the Senate floor by Majority Leader Harry Reid, who hailed Inouye as one of the "greats of this body."

President Barack Obama saluted Inouye as a "true American hero" for his wartime service and his work on Capitol Hill to "strengthen our military, forge bipartisan consensus and hold those of us in government accountable to the people we were elected to serve."

BALANCE OF POWER

Under Hawaii law, Democratic Governor Neil Abercrombie will name a successor to fill Inouye's seat until a new senator is picked in the 2014 general election.

Because Abercrombie is expected to name a fellow Democrat, Inouye's death is unlikely to change the balance of power in the 100-member Senate, where Democrats were expected to maintain a 55-45 majority over Republicans.

First elected to Congress as Hawaii's first full-fledged member of the U.S. House of Representatives, Inouye took office on August 21, 1959, the date Hawaii became the 50th U.S. state. He went on to win election to the U.S. Senate in 1962.

After nine consecutive Senate terms, Inouye was the only member of the state's original congressional delegation still serving on Capitol Hill.

He was also the second longest-serving member of the U.S. Senate after the late Senator Robert Byrd of West Virginia, and became the most senior member when Byrd died in 2010.

Inouye thus assumed the largely ceremonial post of president pro tempore of the Senate, making him third in line to succeed to the U.S. presidency after the vice president and speaker of the House.

Inouye began his public service at age 17, when he enlisted in the U.S. Army shortly after the 1941 Japanese attack on the American Pacific Fleet at Pearl Harbor, during which he had served as a U.S. medical volunteer.

Inouye was not sent to an internment camp as were many Americans of Japanese ancestry when the war started because Hawaii, then a U.S. territory, was placed under control of military authorities, he told National Public Radio last year.

ENEMY ALIEN

But he was declared an "enemy alien," and was among those who petitioned the government for the right to serve in the U.S. military to prove their allegiance. In late 1942, at age 17, he enlisted.

"I was angered to realize that my government thought that I was disloyal and part of the enemy, and I wanted to be able to demonstrate not only to my government but to my neighbors that I was a good American," he said in an interview aired as part of Ken Burns' 2007 documentary "The War."

He joined the 442nd Regimental Combat Team, a unit of U.S. soldiers of Japanese ancestry. Serving in Europe with distinction, Inouye lost his right arm while charging a series of German machine-gun nests on a hill in Italy in 1945.

The injury earned him a Purple Heart and other awards but ended his ambitions to be a surgeon. Instead, he earned a law degree and entered politics after the war.

When asked in recent days how he wanted to be remembered, his office said Inouye replied, "I represented the people of Hawaii and this nation honestly and to the best of my ability. I think I did OK."

Inouye's death will propel Senator Patrick Leahy, a Vermont Democrat, to become president pro tempore of the Senate, as the member with the most seniority on the majority side, a Senate leadership aide said.

Leahy was also in line to become the chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee, though he already chairs the Judiciary Committee and could not keep both posts without a waiver. If he did give up the gavel at Judiciary, that could open up the leadership of that committee to Senator Dianne Feinstein of California, a champion of gun control legislation.

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Old 12-18-2012, 08:46 AM
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Sen. Inouye

I had the honor of having lunch with Dan and Sen.John McCain back in the early 90's.
I found both to be gentlemen, Dan seemed to have an aura of distance around him until I mentioned that the 442 saved my late Uncles butt during the battle of Monte Cassino and related this passage from his diary about the event "they are gutsy little nips. they never back down."

Dan looked at me with a steely look and simply stated, "We were fighting for our country too. Fighting to show the world we were Americans."

No better words were ever spoken.

RIP Danny.
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Old 12-18-2012, 09:00 AM
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I agree Bot. He was one of the Congressional Medal of Honor recipients covered in a book given to me a few Christmases ago. He was sincere in his beliefs and efforts and loved America. More than you can say for 98% of the politicians in Washington. It was unnecessary for him to prove himself to anyone as far as I was concerned.

One of the greatest of the "Greatest Generation."
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Old 12-18-2012, 09:05 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stoney View Post
I had the honor of having lunch with Dan and Sen.John McCain back in the early 90's.
I found both to be gentlemen, Dan seemed to have an aura of distance around him until I mentioned that the 442 saved my late Uncles butt during the battle of Monte Cassino and related this passage from his diary about the event "they are gutsy little nips. they never back down."

Dan looked at me with a steely look and simply stated, "We were fighting for our country too. Fighting to show the world we were Americans."

No better words were ever spoken.

RIP Danny.

Nice little tribute. Thanks for posting it!
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Old 12-18-2012, 09:11 AM
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Rest in peace, Senator.
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Old 12-18-2012, 10:16 PM
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One of the last good politicians in Washington, its a poorer place because of his loss.
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Old 12-18-2012, 11:42 PM
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I disagreed with alot of his agenda, but he was one of the few members of Congress doing what he thought was the best for the country, not for himself.

He was the liberal Ron Paul. God bless him.
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Old 12-19-2012, 12:43 AM
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Talking

One of Senator Inouye's younger relatives is Daro Inouye, a highly regarded Criminal defense lawyer now retired after 30 years working as a very competent and extremely well liked member of the San Francisco City and County Public Defender's office and now in private practice for some years.

I personally knew him and liked him well during my long tenure with the SF Criminal felony court support staff.

He was also renowned for his sense of humor.

Once he was tapped to be the the keynote speaker at a function honoring, as i recall, a San Francisco Superior Court Judge;

His opening remark to those gathered was:

"GOOD EVENING, LADIES AND GENTLEMEN; FIRST, I'D LIKE TO APOLOGIZE FOR PEARL HARBOR..."

At this, the room erupted in sustained laughter.
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Old 12-19-2012, 07:13 AM
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He was a very avid aquarist.
I recall him spending major bucks on very exotic fish back in '72 - '74 when I working in an aquarium store. Very nice man.
RIP Daniel
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Old 12-19-2012, 07:17 AM
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I don't know much about his political activities for the last 40 years or so, but I believe he was a strong and respected voice in the senate against the Vietnam war from an early time in the process.

RIP Daniel.
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Old 12-19-2012, 10:13 AM
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Eight presidential unit citations and 21 medals of honor in WW2; the 442nd is the most highly decorated unit in U.S. Army history to this day. I heard the story of the loss of his arm on NPR the other day. RIP a true American hero.
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Old 12-19-2012, 01:14 PM
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He was an America hero.

I read an obituary that described his charging the German machine gun nest.

He was getting ready to throw a grenade at it, and he was hit by machine gun fire that nearly severed his arm, the very arm that was holding the grenade.

With his other hand, he pried the grenade out of his blown-off-hand that was still clenching the grenade, and threw it at the machine gun nest, killing the Germans that were manning it.

He continued to charge up the hill with one arm blown off, firing his rifle with his one remaining good hand.

He was subsequently thereafter shot, where he was carried down the hill and treated.

A truly brave and courageous man.
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Old 12-19-2012, 02:25 PM
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it is amazing he did not bleed to death.

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