Statement by AAGEN on the Passing of Senator Daniel Inouye

THE ASIAN AMERICAN GOVERNMENT EXECUTIVES NETWORK (AAGEN) JOINS THE NATION IN MOURNING THE DEATH OF SENATOR DANIEL INOUYE. THE LOSS OF THIS ICONIC HERO OF OUR TIME LEAVES US WITH GREAT SORROW. HE WAS A TRAILBLAZER WHO ROSE ABOVE PERSONAL ADVERSITY TO BECOME ONE THE MOST RESPECTED AND LONGEST SERVING LEADERS IN THE US SENATE. OVERCOMING HIS HEROIC COMBAT WOUNDS, AS A MEMBER OF THE FAMOUS 442ND, IN EUROPE FOR WHICH HE WAS AWARDED THE CONGRESSIONAL MEDAL OF HONOR, HIS DISTINGUISHED CAREER CULMINATED IN SERVING AS THE VERY POWERFUL CHAIRMAN OF THE SENATE APROPRIATIONS COMMITTEE AS WELL AS THE PRESIDENT PRO-TEM OF THE SENATE, BECOMING THIRD IN LINE FOR SUCCESSION TO THE PRESIDENCY. ELECTED NINE TIMES TO THE SENATE, HE WAS A LEADER AND CHAMPION OF MANY NOBLE AND JUST CAUSES SUCH AS THE WELFARE OF OUR WOUNDED MILITARY VETERANS AND THE FULL RECOGNITION OF FILIPINO VETERANS FOR THEIR SERVICE IN SUPPORT OF AMERICAN TROOPS DURING WWII . IN 2010 AAGEN WAS PROUD TO HONOR SENATOR INOUYE FOR HIS LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENTS, HIS OUTSTANDING PATRIOTISM AND SERVICE TO AMERICA FOR ALMOST SEVEN DECADES. THROUGHOUT HIS EXTRAORDINARY LIFE HE INSPIRED GENERATIONS OF AAPI MEN AND WOMEN TO SERVE OUR NATION, INCLUDING RUNNING FOR PUBLIC OFFICE.  IT WAS BECAUSE OF HIS BEING AN OUTSTANDING ROLE MODEL, HIS MENTORING, AND HIS ENCOURAGEMENT THAT THIS PAST ELECTION, 5 NEW AAPI CONGRESS MEMBERS, AND THE FIRST JAPANESE AMERICAN WOMAN WERE ELECTED. AS WE MOURN SENATOR INOUYE’S PASSING, LET US ALSO CELEBRATE HIS EXEMPLARY LIFE, HIS SINGULAR ACCOMPLISHMENTS AND HIS ENDURING LEGACY TO OUR NATION AND OUR AAPI COMMUNITY.  OUR HEARTFELT CONDOLENCES GO TO HIS WIFE IRENE, AND HIS FAMILY.


Statement by the President on the Passing of Senator Daniel Inouye

Tonight, our country has lost a true American hero with the passing of Senator Daniel Inouye.  The second-longest serving Senator in the history of the chamber, Danny represented the people of Hawaii in Congress from the moment they joined the Union.  In Washington, he worked to strengthen our military, forge bipartisan consensus, and hold those of us in government accountable to the people we were elected to serve.  But it was his incredible bravery during World War II – including one heroic effort that cost him his arm but earned him the Medal of Honor – that made Danny not just a colleague and a mentor, but someone revered by all of us lucky enough to know him.  Our thoughts and prayers are with the Inouye family.


Statement by Vice President Biden on the Passing of Senator Daniel Inouye

As my mother would say, the greatest virtue of all is courage, and Danny was courage personified. From the battlefields of World War II where he received the Medal of Honor, to the floor of the United States Senate where he displayed incredible moral bravery, he was always the same – courageous and resolute.  He was one of the most honorable men I ever met in my life, and one of the best friends you could hope for. He was honest, and fiercely loyal, and I trusted him absolutely.

Everyone in the Senate not only admired Danny Inouye, but they trusted him. We all knew he would do the moral thing regardless of the consequences – whether it was passing judgment on a President during Watergate or on another President in the Iran Contra hearings.  And Danny always remembered where he came from – and how hard his family had to struggle. From having to fight for the right to fight for his country in the all Japanese-American 442nd, to his keynote speech at the Democratic National Convention in 1968, he always spoke of the country’s struggles with racism and bias, and his call for a “new era of politics.” And to his dying day, he fought for a new era of politics where all men and women are treated with equality. 

Above all, Danny was my friend, and Jill and I are praying for his entire family today.


STATEMENT BY SECRETARY CLINTON

Death of Senator Daniel K. Inouye

I was deeply saddened to learn of the passing of my friend, Danny Inouye.  From his earliest days in public service to his last, he inspired others to reach for the American dream – because that’s exactly what he did.

No matter what barrier was in his way, Danny shattered it.  He was the highest-ranking Asian-American politician in history and the first Japanese-American to serve in the House of Representatives and Senate.  He was a soldier, a Medal of Honor recipient and a hero.  But despite the accolades from a lifetime of service, he never lost his humility and compassion.

Danny was an icon in his native state of Hawaii and a tireless advocate for the disenfranchised, minorities and women throughout the country.  He spent his life working for a brighter future, and we are all better off for it.  I will always cherish his friendship and guidance in the Senate.  My thoughts and prayers go out to his wife, Irene, and all those whose lives he touched.


Statement from U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan on the Passing of Senator Daniel Inouye

 

Senator Inouye understood that education is an investment, not an expense, and he consistently stood up for the students of Hawaii and our nation. After heroically serving in World War II, he completed college and law school with help from the G.I. Bill, leading to a lifetime of public service and a commitment to bipartisanship that I deeply respected.


Statement by Secretary Panetta on the Passing of Senator Daniel Inouye

The men and women of the Department of Defense have lost one of their most dedicated advocates, and I have lost a dear friend, with the passing of Sen. Daniel Inouye.  His life of service to the people of Hawaii and to this nation embodied the essence of the American dream, and the heroism of the greatest generation. 

A World War II veteran of the legendary 442nd Regimental Combat Team, his display of leadership and valor in a gun battle that cost him his arm rightfully earned him the Medal of Honor.  His determination to recover and his extraordinary career that followed continue to inspire wounded warriors today.  In the U.S. Senate, he was one of the most stalwart and effective advocates of the Department of Defense, and a relentless champion of our men and women in uniform and their families.  I was honored to have the opportunity to work closely with him when I served as a member of Congress, and in the Clinton and Obama administrations. 

Daniel Inouye's legacy will long endure in the better quality of life he helped bring to generations of military personnel and their families, to the people of Hawaii, and in the contribution he made to a stronger defense of the United States of America.  The thoughts and prayers of all of us at the Department of Defense are with the Inouye family in this time of grief and remembrance.


Statement by HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius on the passing of Senator Daniel Inouye

I am deeply saddened by the news of Senator Daniel Inouye’s passing. Senator Inouye was a trailblazer in public service and a staunch champion for the mission of the Department of Health and Human Services. He was a strong advocate for advancing the health and well-being of the American people – from promoting biomedical research to addressing issues affecting veterans, Native Hawaiians, and American Indians and Alaska Natives.

Like many of his generation, Senator Inouye dedicated his life to public service. He was a decorated World War II veteran and served in public office for more than six decades. As Chairman of the Senate Committee on Appropriations, he provided leadership to advance the Affordable Care Act. He was a strong supporter of the Health Resources and Services Administration’s Native Hawaiian Health Care Program and Community Health Centers, which provide critical care to vulnerable populations. And he was an influential advocate for behavioral health research at the National Institutes of Health and mental health training programs at HRSA.

I extend my condolences to Senator Inouye's family, colleagues, and friends. He has left a lasting legacy on the American people.


Secretary Salazar Statement on the Passing of Senator Daniel Inouye

From statehood until today, Senator Inouye has represented the people of Hawaii with courage and conviction.  We have lost a true American hero this evening, but Danny’s legacy will live on in the hearts and minds of those he touched over his eight decades of service to the nation he loved and cherished.  His indelible mark on American politics will forever remind us of a patriot who always put the people above his party.  I am honored to call him a mentor and a colleague, but I am most proud to call him a true friend.


Statement by Secretary Shinseki on the Passing of Senator Daniel Inouye

Senator Daniel K. Inouye stood among the 'greatest' of our 'Greatest Generation.'  Recipient of the Medal of Honor, our Nation's highest award for valor; distinguished service as a long-serving member of the U.S. Senate; and role model to generations of Americans of Asian-Pacific Islander heritage, especially those growing up in his beloved Hawai'i, Senator Inouye made public service a noble and honorable calling.  Dan Inouye's courage on the battlefield and in Congress, his passion for making a difference in the lives of average Americans, and his intense modesty spoke volumes about a remarkable American, who embodied the bedrock values and quiet virtues of our Nation.  On behalf of America's 22 million Veterans, I salute the memory of a brave man, a great patriot, a devoted public servant, an unwavering benefactor to Servicemembers and Veterans of every generation, and my friend and mentor.  I extend my deepest personal condolences to the entire Inouye family.

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