As one of the most influential and long standing politicians in local and national history, the passing of Sen. Daniel K. Inouye Monday resulted in an out-pour of reaction across Hawaii and the nation.
Local and national politicians were quick to admire the service and sacrifice that Inouye graciously gave to his country.
President Barack Obama released the following statement concerning the passing of Senator Inouye," Tonight, our country has lost a true American hero with the passing of Senator Daniel Inouye. The second-longest serving Senator in the history of the chamber, Danny represented the people of Hawaii in Congress from the moment they joined the Union."
"In Washington, he worked to strengthen our military, forge bipartisan consensus, and hold those of us in government accountable to the people we were elected to serve. But it was his incredible bravery during World War II - including one heroic effort that cost him his arm but earned him the Medal of Honor - that made Danny not just a colleague and a mentor, but someone revered by all of us lucky enough to know him. Our thoughts and prayers are with the Inouye family."
"As my mother would say, the greatest virtue of all is courage, and Danny was courage personified," said Vice President Joe Biden in a statement. "Everyone in the Senate not only admired Danny Inouye, but they trusted him. We all knew he would do the moral thing regardless of the consequences - whether it was passing judgment on a President during Watergate or on another President in the Iran Contra hearings."
Fellow Hawaii Senator Daniel Akaka who worked with Sen. Inouye for decades offered these words. "It is very difficult for me to bid aloha to my good friend, colleague, and brother Dan Inouye. Senator Inouye was a true patriot and American hero in every sense. His legacy is not only the loving family he leaves behind, it can be seen in every mile of every road in Hawaii, in every nature preserve, in every facility that makes Hawaii a safer place."
"Dan fulfilled his dream of creating a better Hawaii. He gave us access to the resources and facilities of the mainland states took for granted. He leaves behind him a list of accomplishments unlikely to ever be paralleled."
"Tomorrow will be the first day since Hawaii became a state in 1959 that Dan Inouye will not be representing us in Congress. But every child born in Hawaii will learn of Dan Inouye, a man who changed our islands forever."
"I join all of the people of Hawaii in praying for his wife Irene, his son Ken and daughter-in-law Jessica, his step-daughter Jennifer, and his granddaughter Maggie, who brought him so much joy in this life and carries his legacy forward.
Dan, my dear friend and colleague. You will be missed in Washington as much as you will be missed in Hawaii. Rest in peace."
Congresswoman and Senator elect Mazie Hirono, who recently enjoyed an endorsement from Sen. Inouye for her Senatorial campaign to replace Sen. Daniel Akaka offered these words. "I join the people of Hawaii in mourning the passing of Senator Daniel Inouye. This is a tremendous loss for Hawaii and our nation, and I am deeply saddened and shocked my longtime friend is no longer with us."
"History will remember Dan Inouye as a decorated war hero - a Medal of Honor recipient - and monumental figure in Hawaii's statehood. Throughout his life, he fought and sacrificed for the ideals of freedom and justice. His record speaks for itself. Despite his significant accomplishments, Dan Inouye never forgot where he came from. His values, work, and sense of honor were strongly rooted in Hawaii, and he pursued his vision for America with humility and bipartisanship. It has been an honor and privilege to serve with him in Congress, and I will work to see that we continue to build on the strong foundation he has left Hawaii and the United States of America."
"My heart goes out to his wife Irene Hirano Inouye, his son Daniel Ken Inouye Jr., and the many family, friends, colleagues, and citizens who will miss him dearly. While we lost a great public servant and human being today, his memory is guaranteed to live on for generations to come."
Congresswoman Colleen Hanabusa, who was selected as a replacement for Sen. Inouye in a letter to Gov. Abercrombie, said,"I am greatly saddened to hear of the passing of Hawaii's beloved Senator Daniel K. Inouye. It is a tremendous loss to our state. My thoughts are with his wife Irene, his son Kenny and his family, and all of Senator Inouye's staff, who he treated as his extended family."
"Senator Daniel K. Inouye dedicated his entire adult life to service to America and Hawaii. As a volunteer soldier fighting in Europe during World War II, as a Territorial legislator, and as a member of Congress, he never wavered in his commitment to placing the needs of the people he served before his own."
"His bravery in battle earned him the Medal of Honor. His focus on Hawaii's needs brought countless projects to fruition, including Hawaii's East West Center. His Congressional career earned him a national reputation through his service on the Watergate commission; chairing the special committee on the Iran-Contra investigation; and serving as chair of the Senate Appropriations Committee as well as President Pro Tem of the Senate, which placed him third in line of succession to the presidency."
"But beyond his well-deserved professional accolades, I am proud to have called Dan Inouye a friend and a mentor. His professional generosity and personal kindness have meant the world to me. I attribute a great deal of the success I have enjoyed to his willingness to share with a smile, and to guide with a gentle word. I will miss him, and I join our state and our nation in mourning the loss of a great American and a wonderful man."
Congresswoman elect Tulsi Gabbard said, "I am deeply saddened at the passing of Senator Inouye. He is a true American hero, sacrificing in battle and breaking the barriers of prejudice that existed during World War II. After serving so admirably and bravely, Dan Inouye returned to Hawaii and began his distinguished career as an elected servant of the people."
"Senator Inouye was a true servant-leader who inspired so many to step up and serve Hawaii and our nation. The fact his last word was "Aloha" speaks volumes about this iconic leader."
"He has and will continue to be an inspiration and mentor to me and countless others around the world. I extend my deepest aloha to his family and all who were touched by his life and legacy."
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) offered these words. "My dear friend, Senator Daniel Inouye, the Senior Senator from Hawaii, was one of the finest men I have known in my lifetime. He was one of the most distinguished senators this body has ever seen. He was a soldier of incomparable bravery and a man of uncommon decency, and it is with deep sadness that I mark his passing.
"As a young man, Senator Inouye demonstrated the kind of bravery that challenges us all to rise to a higher standard. Although Senator Inouye and other Japanese-Americans were exempt from the draft, he volunteered to fight for our flag. He volunteered, even though the families of so-called Nisei soldiers were imprisoned in American internment camps. Senator Inouye was wounded in battle saving the lives of his fellow soldiers. For his acts of valor, he received the Medal of Honor, the Distinguished Service Cross, a Bronze Star, a Purple Heart and the Congressional Gold Medal, the highest honor Congress can bestow.
"Senator Inouye's son once asked him why - after being called 'enemy aliens' and after being held in internment camps - he and the members of the famed 442nd fought so heroically. Senator Inouye told his son that he fought 'for the children.' For children, there could be no finer role model than Senator Inouye.
"Today, my thoughts are with his family, including his wife Irene, son Ken, daughter-in-law Jessica, step-daughter Jennifer and granddaughter Maggie. Their loss is the nation's, as today we all lost a pioneer and a noble soul."