Hawaii's Beloved Senator Daniel Inoye Has Died at 88

dorothy_oahuDecember 17, 2012

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. . . .
. . .

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

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Such a wonderful man. He will be missed. He gave so much for his country.

    Bookmark   December 17, 2012 at 9:56PM
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Thanks for letting us know so much sadness his season !!

    Bookmark   December 17, 2012 at 10:02PM
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He made a difference....wish there were more like him in this world.

    Bookmark   December 17, 2012 at 10:57PM
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A hero and dedicated public servant, despite all the odds against him.

Our 'melting pot' has had some pretty wonderful 'ingredients'.

    Bookmark   December 18, 2012 at 10:21AM
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Hearing of his death made me very sad and I send my condolences to his family ..He was truly the hero and dedicated servant that chisue said....Our politicians local and national should take a cue from him.......He lived the life that most political figures should try to use as a guide to being a great public servant...


    Bookmark   December 18, 2012 at 1:48PM
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I was sad to hear this, but during his long life he gave so much to the world.

Rest In Peace, Daniel.

    Bookmark   December 18, 2012 at 2:43PM
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A true patriot, whose impact with beong lived. RIP Senator and Thank You for your service.

    Bookmark   December 18, 2012 at 6:00PM
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He was one of a small group. Politicians I like(d).

RIP Senator. And thank you for a lifetime of service.

    Bookmark   December 18, 2012 at 10:46PM
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I never knew all that much about him. Thanks for educating me.

    Bookmark   December 19, 2012 at 9:14AM
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