Monday, December 17, 2012

Hawaii Sen. Daniel K. Inouye dies at 88

"I represented the people of Hawaii and this nation honestly

 and to the best of my ability.  I think I did okay."

I happened to bump into the Senator at Longs Drugs about 2 year ago and said, "Hi, Dan." As soon as I saw the Senator's eyes brighten up, I knew he'd probably spend 10 minutes or so talking story, so I whisked off without saying another word so I wouldn't take up his day. I mean the guy's on vacation from Washington DC, and random conversation is the last thing he really needs. Aloha, Dan.

Two weeks ago, Vice President Joe Biden delivered the eulogy at the memorial service for Warren Rudman (former Senator R-NH). It struck me somewhat odd, at least, then, that Biden would mention Senator Inouye during a memorial service for another senator. Perhaps, or perhaps not, people in the inner circle knew something that we didn't know about the true extent of Senator Inouye's health issues. Anyways, Inouye's not the type to drag people through stories of bad health. He had more class than that.

"I've never met a man in all the years I've served, with the single exception of Dan Inouye, that had the integrity, faith and grit in the ordinary American people .... as Warren Rudman."

Vice President Joe Biden  |  Nov 29, 2012

Some aloha comments below....

From the Washington Post:
dkoelper wrote:
.... We first met Sen. Inouye in the halls of the Senate back in 1970 when I was 10, and my mother was trying to visit our own senator to arrange a tour of the Capitol, only to find his office closed.

Seeing the look of disappointment on my face, Sen. Inouye graciously invited us to his own offices, and not only had his staff make those arrangements, he also took us to lunch in the Senate dining room, and invited us to see the Senate in session. That little boy never forgot his random act of kindness, and I've always had a lot of aloha in my heart for him.

John E. wrote:
In 1966 my grandmother worked in the Senate cafeteria. He used to give her his two tickets to the Washington Senators so that she could take her 13-year-old grandson to the games. Some of my fondest memories as a child.

rapidreader wrote:
Sen. Inouye's Indian Gaming Regulatory Act was probably one of the five most important pieces of social change law in American history. That Act gave American Indians the first real chance they ever got. This one piece of legislation changed America; it should be in the first three paragraphs of Inouye's biography or his obituary.

HappilyRetired2 wrote:
I had the honor to meet him once briefly. It was in a line to get through security at Dulles. He was standing in line like everyone else.

DC_Native_1976 wrote:
My mother is Nisei and was interned in Manzanar for over 2 years during WWII as a teenager along with her sister and mother. I grew up in a household where Senator Inouye was greatly respected as an humble hero who personally personified the ethos of the war generation.... The war years left huge scars on the Japanese American community and Daniel Inouye's life was a living testament to the power of staying positive....

Jeepers Creepers wrote:
.... I met him in the spring of 1985. He and his wife were walking up past American University and on their way to lunch. My wife and I, almost thirty years their junior, were sort of heading in the same direction. We fell into conversation.

My wife and I had served together in the Navy and were stationed in Hawaii in the late '70's and we got to talking about our favorite Honolulu restaurants - like Maple Garden on Isenberg Street - a restaurant the Inouye's knew well. (It's still there and it's still great - no tourists!).

Next thing we knew, we were invited to join them for lunch and I must say, the next 2 hours were absolutely amazing. We exchanged Christmas cards every year since and though I never saw them again, I still to this day hold a special place in my heart for these remarkable Americans.

Totalam wrote:
Goodbye MR .Inouye. What world needs today is more politicians like you. I live in Britain ,I have closely followed your military and political carrier. To me you are one of the towering politicians of America. I am sure you will be ranked among the great politicians who hailed from united states

hillstemple wrote:
.... Mahalo for all you have done for Hawaii and the United States. You are a true statesman. You helped to open doors for people from Hawaii. You gave so many Hawaii people the opportunity to work in Congress and the federal government. You gave pride to the people of Hawaii. You set an example for all of us that yes, we too, can achieve.

Your legacy lives on in many of us.

Aloha oe

From the Huffington Post:
cadreamer14 wrote:
.... Ralph Ensminger (my grandma's brother) served as Senator Inouye's Captain in the 442nd and died in the first battle in Italy. Senator Inouye graciously dedicated a chapter of his book "My Journey to Washington" to my Great Uncle. Senator Inouye was a brave, amazing man. He signed a copy of his book and presented it to my grandmother (who grew up in Hawaii) many years ago. Rest in peace, Mr. Inouye. Thank you for being a true hero and leader.

Rick Kasper wrote:
.... My Dad fought along with Seator Inouye in Italy. What a great hero, Great american and even better person. It is a sad day to hear of the passing of this great man. God please offer him rest. Mr Inouye Thank you for your honest, ethical,honorable and humble service to this country, I salute you, hope and pray .... May God give you the eternal Joy you so richly deserve.

HawaiiSteve wrote:
In 1990, I started a company in Honolulu called O'ahu Wireless Cable to compete against the cable monopoly that is Oceanic Time Warner. Senator 'Dan,' concerned about the constantly rising of cable rates with no competition, helped me to get the FCC licenses I needed. I had never met him prior to that (and a recent newcomer to the state) but he wanted his constituency to have a choice and not be held hostage to the national cable monopolies. He invited me to Washington D.C., introduced me to the FCC Commissioners, and 'asked' them to do all the could to help us get started. I will never forget his help and support!

Aloha Senator Dan! You will be greatly missed.

NorenForSenate wrote:
.... one bill that he wrote trying to give space a flight privileges to 100% disabled vets didn't get support from Gillibrand and other Senators. Disgraceful. Hope they will honor him in death by co-sponsoring the bill.
Scott Noren DDS
Non combat vet, activist


Cloudia said...

so well done, Ron. My post tomorrow won't be nearly this good! It's a new day and kinda hollow, but he set us on a good path. Now it's our turn.

Aloha from a couple blocks ovah
Comfort Spiral
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RONW said...

Cloudia- between you and me, your cat, my gecko, and mainly becuz it's too early to discuss these things, this is the financial hurricane hawaii has feared. The senator's passing. Times are bad as it is. Without Inouye's pull in Congress, Hawaii is not gonna get as much federal money appropriated our way. The money already appropriated will get here, so there'll be a lag, but after that .... it'll be the pits. How we gonna keep lavishing microneasns with $100 million a year for their health related boondoggle? How the 50 percent unemployed construction workers going get jobs without as much federal funded projects. The construction workers on jobs, they only okay til that project pau. I don't think this is all my imagination, either.

Kay said...

When no one else could help with the immigration problems my nephew was having for his wife, Dan Inouye's office stepped up to the plate and fixed everything pronto. It was just so amazing. How wonderful that you were able to meet and talk to him. Wow!

RONW said...

Kay- our old apartment manager when he retired from his former job was having problems with the federal agency responsible for approving his benefis. They were actually trying to deny him those. He worked for another federal agency himself. Fortunately, he had gone H.S. with Inouye. He make a call to Inouye's office in Washington DC, and by the end of the week, he received a notice that his retirement benefits had been approved no further questions asked. Tremendous power of pull. Of course that wasn't what Senator Inouye was trying to demonsrtate.