Hawaii's Beloved Senator Daniel Inoye Has Died at 88
Sorry I misspelled Senator Inouye's name in the headline and can't seem to correct it.
Daniel K. Inouye died today of a respiratory ailment at a Bethesda, Md., hospital, ending a life of remarkable service for his country and Hawaii that included sacrificing his right arm in World War II combat and spending 50 years as a U.S. senator. He was 88. . . .
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Inouye leaves an unparalleled legacy in Hawaii history including Medal of Honor winner, nine-term U.S. senator,(50 years) and key figure in the Senate investigations of both the Watergate and Iran-Contra scandals. As the longest-serving member of the Senate, the Hawaii Democrat was president pro tempore third in line to the presidency. . .
. . .For many of his generation, the Dec. 7, 1941, Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor forever changed the trajectory of his life. Inouye had wanted to be a doctor and had taken a first-aid course from the American Red Cross, but once President Franklin D. Roosevelt agreed in 1943 to let nisei volunteer for the war, Inouye volunteered for the Army and was assigned to what was to become one of the most decorated military units in history, the segregated 442nd Regimental Combat Team.
Inouye, a sergeant when the 442nd landed in Europe, was promoted to first lieutenant as the nisei unit moved through Italy, then France, then back to Italy in the waning days of the war.
In northern Italy in April 1945 as the war in Europe was coming to an end, Inouye moved his platoon against German troops near San Terenzo. Inouye crawled up a slope and tossed two hand grenades into a German machine-gun nest. He stood up with his tommy gun and raked a second machine-gun nest before being shot in the stomach. But he kept charging until his right arm was hit by an enemy rifle grenade and shattered.
"I looked at it, stunned and disbelieving. It dangled there by a few bloody shreds of tissue, my grenade still clenched in a fist that suddenly didn't belong to me anymore," Inouye wrote in his 1967 autobiography, "Journey to Washington," written with Lawrence Elliott.
Inouye wrote that he pried the grenade out of his right hand and threw it at the German gunman, who was killed by the explosion. He continued firing his gun until he was shot in the right leg and knocked down the hillside. Badly wounded, he ordered his men to keep attacking and they took the ridge from the enemy.
He was discharged as a captain and nominated for the Medal of Honor, the nation's highest military award, but instead received the Distinguished Service Cross and the Purple Heart with oak leaf cluster to go along with a Bronze Star. President Bill Clinton belatedly recognized Inouye and 21 other Asian-American veterans in 2000 with the Medal of Honor.
Inouye had multiple operations to treat his wounds and spent nearly two years in rehabilitation on the mainland to learn how to function without his right arm. He was fitted for a prosthetic arm, but it never felt comfortable so he stopped using it.
If you've never heard of he The 442nd Regimental Combat Team it is the most decorated unit in U.S. military history.
There is much more here.
Here is a link that might be useful: Hawaii's Senator Inouye Dies at 88
This post was edited by dorothy_oahu on Mon, Dec 17, 12 at 21:24