HONOLULU (KHON2) — Born in Hawaiʻi in 1924 and educated at the University of Hawaiʻi, Daniel K. Inouye is a very special person in Hawaiʻi’s modern history.
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This unit was Composed of soldiers of Japanese ancestry. These soldiers became famous for their skills and ability to achieve military goals that their non-Japanese counterparts could not do. Most of the families of these soldiers were languishing in U.S. concentration camps for Japanese-American citizens.
The 442nd became one of the most decorated military units in U.S. history. For his combat heroism, which cost him his right arm, Inouye was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor, the Distinguished Service Cross, the Bronze Star and the Purple Heart with Cluster.”
He helped guide Hawaiʻi into its transition from a U.S. territory to full statehood as he served in the United States House of Representatives. He was subsequently elected to the U.S. Senate in 1962 where he served until.
“Senator Inouye and I worked together for decades, and I was glad to honor his memory and celebrate his life today,” said Senator Mazie Hirono. “His legacy lives on in Hawaiʻi and here in the Senate, and this portrait will serve as an important reminder of his work for years to come.”
Sen. Inouye made his mark in U.S. and international politics when he served as a member of the Senate Watergate Committee in 1972-73, as chairman of the Senate Iran-Contra Committee in 1987 and chaired the Senate Appropriations Committee from 2009 to 2012.
According to Sen. Inouye’s U.S. Senate page, in 2013, Senator Inouye was posthumously awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom. This led him to becoming the first — and to date, only — senator to receive both the Medal of Freedom and the Medal of Honor.
“Senator Daniel K. Inouye was an extraordinary public servant for Hawai‘i and America and it’s fitting that he’s being honored with an official portrait here in the Senate where he was respected and beloved by so many,” said Senator Brian Schatz. “His remarkable legacy and immeasurable contributions will continue to better people’s lives for generations to come.”
On Wednesday, Oct. 25, The U.S. Senate honored the legacy of Sen. Inouye by installing a portrait of him in their Senate Leadership Portrait Collection. He is the first person of color to be honored with this installation.
“In the history of our country only some 2,000 of our fellow citizens have served in the United States Senate, and of them only a very few are honored and remembered in our Capitol for their service,” said Congressman Ed Case. “U.S. Senator Daniel Ken Inouye richly deserves this honor and remembrance, not for the quantity but for the quality and example and enduring legacy of his service. His are timeless lessons in faith in our country, commitment to our values and steady stewardship of our ideals that justly serve as a guide for the opportunities and challenges to come.”
The portrait of Sen. Inouye is an original oil-on-canvas painting by artist Kirk Kurokawa.
“Over a decade after his passing, Senator Inouye continues to break barriers. As the first person of color to be included in the U.S. Senate leadership portrait collection, he continues to be a role model and inspiration, reminding us that government functions best when it is representative and reflective of the people it serves,” said Representative Jill Tokuda.
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Needless to say, Sen. Inouye is Hawaiʻi’s son. He worked tirelessly to ensure that Hawaiʻi gained stature within the U.S. state system and built a legacy that continues to honor his home.