East Hawaii News

Lawmakers Bid Farewell to Inouye at Capitol; Memorial Fund Established

December 20, 2012, 10:10 AM HST
* Updated December 21, 10:36 AM
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Crowds of lawmakers gathered around the US Capitol Rotunda today to pay their respects to the late Sen. Daniel Inouye.

Inouye’s flag-draped casket was taken to the Capitol this morning, where he will lie in state until this evening. Inouye’s casket lies under the Capitol Rotunda, in the same place where Presidents John F. Kennedy and Ronald Reagan lay after their deaths.

Inouye is the second senator to lie in state at the Rotunda in the past 23 years and only the third since 1969. The most recent was West Virginia Sen. Robert Byrd, who died in 2010 after serving more than 51 years in the Senate.

Inouye served nearly 50 years in the Senate, second only to Byrd, after spending two terms in the House of Representatives.

The late senator’s family was present during the service, where Vice President Joe Biden remarked, “I’ve never met a man or woman…with as much physical and moral courage as Daniel Inouye.”

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Senate President Harry Reid stated in his opening remarks, “It is with a heavy heart that we bid aloha.”

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Inouye’s casket will be escorted Friday to the Washington National Cathedral before being brought home to Hawaii on Saturday. The late senator will lie at the State Capitol on Saturday, from 5 p.m. to midnight.

Yesterday, the Daniel K. Inouye Fund was established at the Hawaii Community Foundation. HCF has indicated that the fund, created at the request of the senator’s wife, Irene Hirano Inouye, will “continue to aid the causes and organizations the late senator supported.” Donations may be arranged through the foundations website. www.hawaiicommunityfoundation.org

The last public memorial for Inouye will be at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific on Sunday morning, Dec. 23.

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