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Memorial service for Inouye set for Sunday in Hawaii
Question of the Day
HONOLULU (AP) — Hawaiians will bid a final goodbye to the late Sen. Daniel K. Inouye on Sunday.
Services are scheduled at Honolulu's National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific, a strikingly beautiful site located in an extinct volcano and serving as the final resting place for thousands of World War II veterans, including more than 400 members of the storied Japanese-American 442nd Regimental Combat Team, of which Mr. Inouye was a part. Mr. Inouye’s first wife, Margaret, is also buried at the site.
Mr. Inouye died Monday of respiratory complications at age 88. He was the first Japanese-American elected to both houses of Congress and the second-longest-serving senator in U.S. history, at 50 years. He was revered in Hawaii for his ability to bring federal aid and resources home to help build up this still-young state.
The past week has been marked by tributes and honors for Mr. Inouye, with Senate colleagues from both parties, President Obama, Vice President Joseph R. Biden and former President Bill Clinton among those offering warm remembrances. Services for Mr. Inouye were held both in Washington and in Hawaii. He lay in state at both the U.S. Capitol Rotunda on Thursday and the Hawaii Capitol on Saturday.
A public memorial is planned for Friday on Kauai.
Up to 1,000 people were expected at Sunday’s service, including Mr. Obama and members of Congress, with speeches by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, Nevada Democrat, and Sen. Daniel K. Akaka, Hawaii Democrat, planned. Mr. Akaka served alongside Mr. Inouye as a member of Hawaii’s congressional delegation for 36 years, 22 of those in the Senate.
A military jet fly-over and a 19-gun cannon salute are also planned.
Nadine Siak, a public affairs specialist at the cemetery, said Sunday’s service will be a memorial, with plans for a private burial by the family later.
On Saturday night, Mr. Inouye was praised as a humble leader who embodied honor, dignity and duty during a public visitation at Hawaii’s Capitol.
Hawaii Gov. Neil Abercrombie told hundreds of people that Mr. Inouye went from being considered undesirable as a Japanese-American at the start of World War II to gaining the respect of the country’s leaders in Washington.
“Rest easy, you are at home with us in paradise,” Mr. Abercrombie said. His remarks toward the end of an hourlong ceremony marked the start of seven hours of public visitation.
Mr. Inouye’s closed casket, covered with an American flag, was escorted in by seven pallbearers along a red carpet to the center of the Capitol courtyard.
After the ceremony, it was placed in a large tent with the U.S. and Hawaiian flags behind it, as people lined up outside to pay their respect, starting with Mr. Inouye’s wife, Irene Hirano Inouye.
Mr. Inouye is just one of several Hawaiian 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.
Mr. Inouye was a high school senior in Honolulu on Dec. 7, 1941, when he watched dozens of Japanese planes fly toward Pearl Harbor and other Oahu military bases to begin a bombing that changed the course of world events.
By Matt Kibbe
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