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Inouye remembered in ceremonies across country

By Star-Advertiser staff

LAST UPDATED: 8:06 a.m. HST, Aug 12, 2013

Hawaii Sen. Daniel Inouye was remembered in ceremonies Sunday at the at the National WWII Memorial in Washington, part of the annual cross-country “Tribute to the Greatest Generation.” 

Besides Inouye, who died Dec. 17, 2012, U.S. Sen. Frank Lautenberg of New Jersey, who passed away on June 3, also was honored. Inouye and Lautenberg were the last two World War II veterans to serve in the United States Senate. They joined Sen. Susan Collins of Maine as co-sponsors of Spirit of '45 Day when it was unanimously passed by Congress in 2010. 

Inouye's son, Kenny; and Terry Shima, former director of the Japanese American Veterans Association, were speakers at D.C. ceremony. Shima served with Inouye as a member of the legendary 442nd Regimental Combat Team.

This annual cross-country “Tribute to the Greatest Generation” is held every August to remind America of the legacy of World War II.

The "Tribute" began on the East Coast with the National WWII Memorial ceremony.

The cross-country wreath-laying ceremonies ended at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific, where a wreath was laid at the gravesite of Inouye. The wreath-laying ceremony for Inouye at the Punchbowl cemetery was organized by Vanita Rae Smith, whose lost her father in WWII in 1945. 

Other West Coast "Tribute" ceremonies took place at the close of the San Jose Giants baseball game as part of the Spirit of '45 Day held at the San Jose History Park, and at the San Diego Veterans Museum and Memorial in Balboa Park.

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