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Gov. Abercrombie says public memorial will be planned

By B.J. Reyes

LAST UPDATED: 2:27 a.m. HST, Dec 18, 2012

U.S. Sen. Dan Inouye left a legacy that likely will go unparalleled in the state’s history, an emotional Gov. Neil Abercrombie said Monday.

Choking back emotion at a news conference that was supposed to be to announce the state budget, Abercrombie said he was informed of Inouye’s death at 12:01 p.m. Monday.

“This keiki o ka aina, child of Hawaii, has left us with a legacy I suspect we will never see again – a legacy of honor and service to the people of Hawaii, to the people of this nation, without parallel,” Abercrombie said, choking back tears. “I suspect that the people of Hawaii, while we may have known that time and fate would decree this taking place, that he would not be with us forever, that nonetheless the actuality and the reality is about to set in.”

He said he spoke with Inouye’s wife, Irene, who expressed her sentiment to allow some type of public memorial. He said no determination has been made on how the state will pay tribute to Inouye.

“As to what will take place with regard to the days to come, and what is to transpire with regard to the senator’s passing, all in good time,” he said. “Right now, I think that Irene has expressed the thought that I have, that I'm sure all of you have, that it is time now for us to prepare for and to say our goodbyes.

“Everything else will take its place in good order.”

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