Washington, D.C. – Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi delivered remarks on the House floor on the passing of longtime Hawaii Senator and the Senate's President Pro-Tempore Daniel Inouye. Below are the Leader’s remarks:
“Thank you Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, I join my colleague in speaking about how sad we are on the passing of Senator Daniel Inouye. His passing marks the end of an era, but the beginning of a great future built on the legacy he brought to the Congress. For the people of Hawaii, the country, and the United States. 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. And imagine, of Japanese-American heritage – at a time when Japanese-Americans were in camps – who was fighting for the freedom that they were not enjoying, is a true patriot.
”He was Hawaii’s first Representative in the House – a source of great pride to all Members, past and present, that we could call him colleague. Senator Inouye was a patriarch of Hawaii and all Hawaiians will long remember the unyielding devotion to the economic vitality, progress, and success of his beloved home state.
“Senator Inouye led a life of principle, passion, service, and sacrifice. He was the highest ranking Asian-American in our country and he was, for a long time. 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, and his many, many friends that so many share in their grief at this sad time. I particularly – I want to praise him personally, but also bring words of comfort to his family from my constituents in California who considered him a very, very special leader in our country.
“With that, Mr. Speaker, I yield back the balance of my time.”