One year ago Tuesday, Hawaii lost an icon.
A war hero, civil servant and groundbreaking politician, Senator Daniel K. Inouye passed away in Maryland one year ago Dec. 17, leaving a legacy as arguably Hawaii's most influential politician.
On this day, lawmakers remember the resounding impact that the late Senator and his legacy continue to have today.
"With his deep understanding and appreciation of the aloha spirit, he showed us each how to lead with our hearts," said said Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard. "While we celebrate his life and legacy today, I am truly grateful for Senator Inouye's passionate work on behalf of the people of Hawai'i and selfless life of service to us all."
U.S. Senator Brian Schatz, who was assigned Sen. Inouye's vacant senate seat by Governor Neil Abercrombie, stated, " In this remembrance, we commit ourselves to the standards he set, to his deep compassion for all people, his love for Hawai`i and his belief that together we can shape an ever brighter future for our state and country."
U.S. Senator Mazie Hirono introduced legislation to rename the Asia-Pacific Center for Security Studies in Fort Derussy Beach Park after the late Senator. She added, "One year later, Senator Inouye's work on behalf of the people of Hawaii and the nation continues to be acknowledged. Just last month, President Obama honored Senator Inouye's life of service with the Presidential Medal of Freedom. Yesterday, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) dedicated its new center on Ford Island as the Daniel K. Inouye Regional Center."
By Tuesday afternoon in Hawaii, the U.S. Senate passed bill 1847 placing Sen. Inouye's name on the Asian-Pacific Center.
U.S. Representative Colleen Hanabusa echoed those memorial sentiments Tuesday. ""The year since we lost our beloved Senator has been filled with bittersweet memories," Rep. Hanabusa said. "Just yesterday I spoke at a ceremony dedicating a new NOAA facility in his name overlooking Pearl Harbor, a site that had so changed his life. I joined everyone there--friends, family, colleagues--in sharing not only the pride of honoring this humble, courageous, extraordinary man, but also the continued loss of his wit, love, and guidance."