For longer than Hawaii has been a state, Daniel Inouye has served the islands, but Monday Senator Inouye died from respiratory complications.
The 88 year-old senior Senator leaves behind a state in mourning and a legacy of service.
"Its a sad day for Hawaii. He was such an instrumental part of our history," said Honolulu resident Tambry Young.
Inouye fought for his country in World War II, then fought for the islands as a state lawmaker.
He continued to battle as a U.S. Congressman then U.S. Senator, serving nearly 50 years in Washington DC.
"The Senator was such a fighter for Hawaii," said U.S. Senator-Elect Mazie Hirono.
"He had the right set of mind and the right goals. He knew where he was going and he had the confidence to get the job done," said Honolulu resident Kaleo Anderson.
Inouye got the job done by focusing on results rather than self-recognition.
He said he also realized early on - to be effective he needed to be in Washington for a long time.
"Power is by senority. You're not going to do it with two terms, I don't care how brilliant you are. So I made sure I would get re-elected," said Inouye back in 2009.
Over the decades, he not only became known as a fighter for Hawaii, but also for the country's founding ideals.
That was evident during the 1980s when he defended democracy and rebuked Colonel Oliver North over the Iran-Contra affair cover-up.
"'The ends justify the means' is not a principal of democracy. The United States is not country governed by men but by laws," said Inouye.
"The people of Hawaii have been very fortunate to have such a leader as Senator Dan Inouye," said Senator Daniel Akaka.
Throughout the years, Inouye fought for projects he felt would make a difference in the islands. Eventually becoming one of the most powerful Senators, as chair of the appropriations committee. In that position, he brought in billions for the state.
"I love this job," said Inouye.
Even as he rose in power, Inouye remained approachable to Hawaii residents.
"Once when he was surrounded by his people I said 'Hi Senator' and he stopped, turned around and shook my hand. He took time out to recognize somebody," said Jesse Honolulu resident Gamiao.
During his decades of service, Inouye's life touched so many people, which made his sudden death a personal one.
"I know they will find someone to take his place, but I don't think his shoes will be filled that way it was. He was a great man," said Gamiao.
Hawaii lawmakers said while there is mourning now over the loss, they plan to carry on his legacy by working together to do the things Inouye fought for -- the things he felt were right for Hawaii.