He was one of the unsung giants of the U.S. Senate and a Congressional Medal of Honor recipient for his service with the 442nd Regiment, responsible for the harrowing and deadly attacks on the German Gothic Line and Colle Musatello in Italy, among others.
Hawaii Democratic Sen. Daniel Inouye has died at age 88, his office confirmed Monday night.
His last words, according to a statement released by his staff, were “Aloha”.
Inouye has been hospitalized since early December due to respiratory problems. His cause of death was “respiratory complications”.
Inouye had served in the Senate since 1962 and represented Hawaii since 1954. He served as the Senate pro tempore — the designation for the chamber’s longest serving Senator — and the person third in line to the presidency. He also chaired the powerful Senate Appropriations Committee at the time of his death.
Hawaii is mistakenly stereotyped as a tropical paradise, free of “real world” problems and needs. Of course that’s completely insulting and fictitious, but as such, it often gets overlooked in terms of appropriations and services. Senator Inouye worked tirelessly to make sure Hawaii received its fair share from the federal government and I fear his loss will be seriously felt on every island.