Quotes on the death of Hawaii U.S. Sen. Daniel Inouye, who died Monday in a Washington-area hospital from respiratory complications. He was 88.
“I represented the people of Hawaii and this nation honestly and to the best of my ability. I think I did OK.” — Inouye, a Democrat, when asked recently by his office how he wanted to be remembered.
“Aloha.” — Inouye’s last word, according to his office.
“In Washington, he worked to strengthen our military, forge bipartisan consensus, and hold those of us in government accountable to the people we were elected to serve. But it was his incredible bravery during World War II — including one heroic effort that cost him his arm but earned him the Medal of Honor — that made Danny not just a colleague and a mentor, but someone revered by all of us lucky enough to know him.” — President Barack Obama.
“Aloha, Danny.” — Obama on Twitter.
“This keiki o ka aina, this child of Hawaii, has left us with a legacy I suspect we will never see again.” — Hawaii Gov. Neil Abercrombie.
—“When Dan Inouye spoke, by God you knew it was a member of the United States Senate. You knew it was one of the leaders. I don’t suppose that there’s any such thing as the voice of God but I have an idea that if God had to pick someone to speak for him it would have been Dan Inouye.” — Abercrombie.
“His legacy is not only the loving family that he leaves behind. It can be seen in every mile of every road in Hawaii, in every nature preserve, in every facility that makes Hawaii a safer place. He fulfilled his dream of creating a better Hawaii. … Tomorrow will be the first day since Hawaii became a state in 1959 that Dan Inouye will not be representing us in Congress. Every child born in Hawaii will learn of Dan Inouye, a man who changed the islands forever.” — Sen. Daniel Akaka, D-Hawaii.
“We will all miss him, and that’s a gross understatement. … No one’s been a better American than Sen. Inouye.” — Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., becoming emotional on the floor of the Senate.
“He was a man who had every reason to call attention to himself but who never did. He was the kind of man, in short, that America has always been grateful to have, especially in our darkest hours, men who lead by example and who expect nothing in return.” — Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky.
“From his earliest days in public service to his last, he inspired others to reach for the American dream — because that’s exactly what he did. No matter what barrier was in his way, Danny shattered it.” — Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
“Everyone in the Senate not only admired Danny Inouye, but they trusted him. We all knew he would do the moral thing regardless of the consequences - whether it was passing judgment on a president during Watergate or on another president in the Iran Contra hearings. And Danny always remembered where he came from — and how hard his family had to struggle. From having to fight for the right to fight for his country in the all Japanese-American 442nd, to his keynote speech at the Democratic National Convention in 1968, he always spoke of the country’s struggles with racism and bias, and his call for a ‘new era of politics.’ And to his dying day, he fought for a new era of politics where all men and women are treated with equality.” — Vice President Joe Biden.
“He was an outstanding parliamentarian and will be sorely missed by the Senate, his constituents and his many friends.” — Sen. Thad Cochran, R-Miss., vice chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee, which Inouye chaired.
“Sen. Inouye was a soldier, a hero, a statesman, a patriot, a gentleman and a true friend to all Alaskans. His loyalty was as solid as a rock, and his commitment to his principles and his country was something you could bank on.” — Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska.
“His professional generosity and personal kindness have meant the world to me. I attribute a great deal of the success I have enjoyed to his willingness to share with a smile, and to guide with a gentle word. I will miss him, and I join our state and our nation in mourning the loss of a great American and a wonderful man.” — U.S. Rep. Colleen Hanabusa, D-Hawaii.
“History will remember Dan Inouye as a decorated war hero — a Medal of Honor recipient — and monumental figure in Hawaii’s statehood. Throughout his life, he fought and sacrificed for the ideals of freedom and justice. His record speaks for itself. Despite his significant accomplishments, Dan Inouye never forgot where he came from. His values, work, and sense of honor were strongly rooted in Hawaii, and he pursued his vision for America with humility and bipartisanship.” — U.S. Rep. Mazie Hirono, D-Hawaii, who was elected to the U.S. Senate in November to replace Akaka, who is retiring.
“The fact his last word was ‘Aloha’ speaks volumes about this iconic leader. He has and will continue to be an inspiration and mentor to me and countless others around the world.” — U.S. Rep.-elect Tulsi Gabbard, D-Hawaii.
“The good senator was a champion for the people of Hawaii and he proudly adopted the people of American Samoa and the Pacific as his very own by embracing our concerns and offering assistance when we desperately needed it. He never took us as a people and government lightly, and that is why American Samoa held him in very high esteem and, with the highest honor, bestowed him the matai title — Fofoga o Samoa — the Voice of the People. … To us, we have not just lost a man. American Samoa has lost a father.” — Gov. Togiola Tulafono of American Samoa.