Washington, D.C. – Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) released the following statement today on the passing of Senate President Pro Tempore, Daniel K. Inouye:
“My dear friend, Senator Daniel Inouye, the Senior Senator from Hawaii, was one of the finest men I have known in my lifetime. He was one of the most distinguished senators this body has ever seen. He was a soldier of incomparable bravery and a man of uncommon decency, and it is with deep sadness that I mark his passing.
“As a young man, Senator Inouye demonstrated the kind of bravery that challenges us all to rise to a higher standard. Although Senator Inouye and other Japanese-Americans were exempt from the draft, he volunteered to fight for our flag. He volunteered, even though the families of so-called Nisei soldiers were imprisoned in American internment camps. Senator Inouye was wounded in battle saving the lives of his fellow soldiers. For his acts of valor, he received the Medal of Honor, the Distinguished Service Cross, a Bronze Star, a Purple Heart and the Congressional Gold Medal, the highest honor Congress can bestow.
“Senator Inouye’s son once asked him why – after being called ‘enemy aliens’ and after being held in internment camps – he and the members of the famed 442nd fought so heroically. Senator Inouye told his son that he fought ‘for the children.’ For children, there could be no finer role model than Senator Inouye.
“Today, my thoughts are with his family, including his wife Irene, son Ken, daughter-in-law Jessica, step-daughter Jennifer and granddaughter Maggie. Their loss is the nation’s, as today we all lost a pioneer and a noble soul.”