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Hawaii bids aloha to U.S. Sen. Daniel Inouye

By Star-Advertiser staff

LAST UPDATED: 09:17 p.m. HST, Dec 22, 2012

A  crowd of several hundred Hawaii residents joined dignitaries at the state Capitol to pay respects to U.S. Sen. Daniel K. Inouye this afternoon.

A procession led by Hawaiian chanters and the blowing of conch shell  led Inouye’s casket, draped in an American flag and carried by a military honor guard, into the Capitol rotunda  at 5 p.m.

Most of those assembled wore black. There was a smattering of men in white shirts and blue and red 442nd Regimental Combat Team caps. Inouye was awarded a Medal of Honor for bravery after serving with the team in World War II  before his a sterling career in Congress that began at Hawaii's statehood in 1959.

As the service began, the Celtic Pipes and Drums of Hawaii played an upbeat rendition of Danny Boy, one of the senator's favorite songs.

House Speaker Calvin Say said that Inouye taught him that "trust was the greatest currency in the world."

Chief Justice Mark Recktenwald said Inouye's life teaches us to "do what's right, don't forget your roots, and to speak for those who don't have a voice."

Kaimuki resident Denis Salle, 45, brought sons Milan, 10, and Etienne, 8, to view the ceremony.

"I wanted my kids to see Sen. Inouye's last appearance," Salle said. "He was a figure that stood for a lot of values."

"Rest easy, you are at home with us in paradise," Abercrombie said in his remarks.

The formal service ended with the playing of "Aloha 'Oe." Then the honor guard brought Inouye's casket to the center of the rotunda, where it will lie in state until midnight.Inouye died Monday a respiratory illness. He was 88.

The second longest-serving senator in U.S. history, he was president pro tempore at the time of his death.

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. 

Inouye is just one of several Hawaii icons to lie in state at the Capitol in Honolulu. Sen. Hiram Fong was honored the same way in 2004, as was U.S. Rep. Patsy Mink in 2002 and singer Israel Kamakawiwoole in 1997.

The service and visitation brought a steady stream of mourners toward downtown Honolulu one day before another service for Inouye was scheduled at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific. Obama plans to attend that ceremony, White House officials said

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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peanutgallery wrote:
"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. " Senator Inouye dipped his beak for 50 years. He is the classic example of power corrupting absolutely. Given many chances to tutor a successor, Inouye's thirst for power left him unable to relinquish the throne. Hawaii is now left with what will be a junior Senator, and that person will not be a people's choice. How pathetic, yet apropos for our times. Politicians have the lowest approval rating ever. Most people view them as impediments to their ordinary lives, and completely out of touch with reality. Senator Inouye was no exception. With the budget crisis looming, politicians should be held to serve with no pay until they perform the people's business. The latest brew ha between Obama and the Republican party should be televised, so the entire country can see just how little regard either side has for their constituents. We are led by a leader who can't lead, represented by politicians who can't be reached. How totally pathetic it's all become.
on December 22,2012 | 04:53PM
kahu808 wrote:
Just like your commentary.
on December 22,2012 | 05:19PM
Unkokilla wrote:
BUAHAHHAHH...............then run for OFFICE you CLOWN!!!
on December 22,2012 | 05:44PM
Bothrops wrote:
Maybe just for one night we could give it a break.
on December 22,2012 | 07:24PM
NismoMatt808 wrote:
Individuals like Peanut have no guts to speak in public, but in anonymity because he/she is a coward, and guarans he would get bus up (Which deservedly so!). Peanut has no respect, and only trolls the blogs to write inappropriate and thoughtless comments to get a reaction. With individuals like this, I have learned that it is best not to respond or to engage--it will fall only on deaf and ignorant ears.
on December 23,2012 | 12:26AM
rytsuru wrote:
If the internet were to collapse overnight, the one element that would not be missed is the troll. Spewing forth diarrhea born in a fetid mind and unleashed through well calloused typing fingers. Is there any use explaining to such a being that you can't "tutor" a successor in the congress because cachet is built through years of service whether the legislator was effective or not, that is not the fault of the individual but of a system that is outdated and no longer representative of the people it was meant to be a voice for in administering the country. You speak of congressional members staying in DC to solve the "fiscal cliff", but the majority of the these YOUNGER members are no longer serving with the interest of their constituents or the country at heart, but it isn't Senator Inouye's fault. Of course there is no point in explaining this because it doesn't matter to an individual who probably scours the blogs, sites, and social media pages of the internet in an effort to gain attention or to feel as if "they are making a difference" by adding in a comment without identifying themselves and hiding behind a screen name. It must feel self satisfying to make comments that you know will illicit angry responses and feel validated as an individual. No such a person just couldn't say: "thank you Senator Inouye, I may not have agreed with you, been a member of your party, or believed that being in power for so long was good for Hawaii, but I appreciate your years of service which the people of Hawaii asked of you by electing you to office time and time again."
on December 22,2012 | 06:57PM
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