Remembering Daniel K. Inouyeby Senator Robert P. Casey, Jr.
Posted on 2013-01-22
CASEY. Mr. President, I am proud to join my colleagues in
remembering our friend and colleague Senator Daniel Inouye. Dan Inouye
dedicated his life to Hawaii and represented Hawaii from when it
achieved statehood until his death.
Senator Inouye was respected and loved by members of both parties and both chambers. He was the last Senator to serve with both Everett Dirksen and Richard Russell. Senator Inouye learned early the importance of doing something for the good of the Nation and the good of the Senate, as well as the importance of personal relationships and trust among colleagues. For Dan Inouye, his word was his bond and that applied to Democrats and Republicans alike. He became the chairman of the Appropriations Committee, the Senate President Pro-Tempore, was the second longest serving Senator in history and served on special committees investigating the Watergate and Iran Contra scandals. At the time of his death, he had long become a Senate giant in his own right.
Long before reaching the Senate, Dan Inouye was an American hero. Enlisting in the Army after the bombing of Pearl Harbor, he served in Europe earning a Bronze Star, Purple Heart and Distinguished Service Cross for helping his fellow soldiers while suffering terrible injuries. Later in life, President Clinton would confer upon him the Medal of Honor.
His moral character and life experiences made Senator Inouye a leader on many of the pressing issues of the day from civil rights to veterans benefits and from health care to helping people with disabilities. Through his position on the Appropriations Committee, Senator Inouye was able to direct funding to important projects and research that helped bring about important advancements as well as simply help people.
Dan Inouye was also a strong supporter of Israel and the Jewish community. From his advocacy on behalf of Holocaust survivors, to his efforts to help free Jews from the former Soviet Union to his influential role in securing funding for Israel, Senator Inouye was a tireless friend and advocate. He was given the nickname ``Trumpeldor'' after a Zionist hero, Joseph Trumpeldor.
In closing, I am reminded of a quote used to eulogize Daniel Webster that President Nixon used when eulogizing Everett Dirksen, ``Our great men are the common property of the country.'' Senator Inouye was indeed a great man and our country is better off today for his commitment, his conscience and his years of dedicated service.