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Public honors Inouye's passing at state Capitol

By Associated Press & Star-Advertiser staff

LAST UPDATED: 5:19 p.m. HST, Dec 22, 2012

After two days of services in Washington, Hawaii is saying aloha to the late Sen. Daniel Inouye.

Mourners, well-wishers and those simply paying respects are at the state Capitol, where Inouye will lie in state one day after being eulogized by President Barack Obama.

The 88-year-old World War II hero and federal lawmaker of more than five decades died Monday.

A public visitation will last seven hours starting with the arrival of Inouye’s casket and ceremony at 5 p.m. Hawaii time.

Inouye’s casket was brought in to the Capitol by pallbearers from the Hawaii Air National Guard’s Ceremonial Royal Guard. Members of thehe Royal Order of Kamehameha led the way.

Conch blowers and Hawaiian chants of mourning sounded as the casket was brought into the open rotunda.

Gov. Neil Abercrombie and Maj. Gen. Darryll Wong, Hawaii’s adjutant general escorted Sen. Inouye’s widow, Irene Hirano Inouye to the rotunda, where a short ceremony is to be held.

Others who have lain in state at the Capitol include Sen. Hiram Fong in 2004 and singer Israel Kamakawiwoole.

Instead of flowers, Inouye’s family is requesting contributions to the Daniel K. Inouye fund in care of the Hawaii Community Foundation.

Visitors began signing condolence books at the governor’s office on Friday, with additional books available at today’s service. 

The service was expected to crowd downtown Honolulu one day before final services for Inouye are held at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific. Obama plans to attend that ceremony, White House officials said on Saturday.

Inouye, who lost his right arm in a battle with Germans in Italy in World War II, was the first Japanese-American elected to the Senate. 

He became known as a solo economic power in his home state as part of the Senate Appropriations Committee, where he steered federal money toward Hawaii to build roads, schools and housing. 

Colleagues and aides lined the rotunda of the U.S. Capitol on Thursday to bid aloha to Inouye during a rare ceremony to demonstrate the respect he earned over decades. 

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