Washington, D.C. – Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi released the following statement tonight on the passing of longtime Hawaii Senator and the Senate's President Pro-Tempore Daniel Inouye:
"Senator Daniel Inouye's passing marks the end of an era – for the people of Hawaii, the country, and the United States Senate. He was a public servant from start to finish. He was a war hero – earning a Medal of Honor for his actions on the battlefields of World War II before his state was even admitted to the union. He was Hawaii's first Representative in the House, a source of great pride to all Members, past and present.
"Senator Inouye was a patriarch of Hawaii, and all Hawaiians will long remember his unyielding devotion to the economic vitality, progress, and success of his beloved home state. He was the second-longest serving Senator in American history, and his fellow Americans will long remember his leadership in protecting our men and women in uniform, strengthening our national security, reaching across the aisle, and investing in a future of prosperity for all. By his actions, he stood firm for the independence of the Congress, the strength of our democracy, and the values of the American people.
"Senator Inouye led a life of principle, passion, service, and sacrifice. He was the highest ranking Asian American in our country. His story – as an Asian American who lived the American Dream, a soldier who served with bravery and courage, an elected representative who served with dignity – reflects the best of America. We only hope it is a comfort to his wife Irene, his son Ken, and the entire Inouye family that so many share in their grief at this sad time."