U.S. Sen. Mazie Hirono joined other federal lawmakers who marked the anniversary of the death of Sen. Daniel Inouye today by introducing a bill to rename a Honolulu defense institute in his honor. The Senate passed it unanimously.
Renaming the Asia-Pacific Center for Security Studies for the senator recognizes his support for the institute run by the Department of Defense, Hirono said. The center holds workshops and other educational programs for people involved with regional security.
Gov. Neil Abercrombie and other Hawaii elected officials said the best way to honor the late U.S. Sen. Daniel Inouye, who died a year ago today, is by continuing to build on his legacy of compassion, humility and public service.
"The senator left the people of Hawaii and the nation with a legacy of honor, leadership and excellence that is unmatched," Abercrombie said in a statement this morning. "He believed in doing what was right for the people of Hawaii, above politics and self-interest. We will do our best to carry on Sen. Inouye’s tradition of service and live up to his standards of duty, honor and country. Today and everyday he will be remembered with love and aloha."
U.S. Sen. Brian Schatz, who was chosen by Abercrombie to replace Inouye, said, "His courage, heroism, and humility earned him the respect and admiration of his fellow service members, his constituents, colleagues, and leaders around the world. In this remembrance, we commit ourselves to the standards he set, to his deep compassion for all people, his love for Hawaii and his belief that together we can shape an ever brighter future for our state and country."
U.S. Rep. Colleen Hanabusa noted that on Monday she attended a Ford Island ceremony dedicating the new NOAA facility named for Inouye.
"While each honor he has received, from posthumously receiving the Presidential Medal of Freedom from President Obama, to the buildings, ships, lighthouses, and telescopes renamed to remember him, has reminded us of the impact he had on our state, nation, and world, they also remind us how much he touched our lives," she said. "I believe we best honor Sen. Inouye by continuing to carry the lessons he passed to us: to serve humbly, respect each other, and always carry aloha in our hearts."
Hanabusa, who was Inouye’s choice to replace him, will face off against Schatz next year in the Democratic primary to fill the remainder of Inouye’s term which ends in 2016.
Inouye, 88, died of a respiratory illness at the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Md. His life was filled with public service from sacrificing his right arm as a young soldier in World War II combat to spending 50 years as a U.S. senator from Hawaii. His memorial services last year included lying in state in the U.S. Capitol Rotunda, a rare honor bestowed on only 30 people before him.
Last month, Obama posthumously awarded him the nation’s highest civilian honor, the Medal of Freedom.
Rep. Tulsi Gabbard noted his inspiring humility and deep compassion for people. "Sen. Inouye sacrificed so much for our nation in the face of tremendous prejudice during World War II. He believed in our country and its greatness, and worked hard every day of his career to put others before himself. With his deep understanding and appreciation of the aloha spirit, he showed us each how to lead with our hearts," she said.