Inouye Memorial Begins With Capitol Rotunda Ceremony
By Wendy Osher
A ceremony was held today for US Senator Daniel Inouye, whose body lies in state at the US Capitol Rotunda. The ceremony included remarks delivered by congressional leaders.
Inouye, who was third in line for presidential succession, died after suffering respiratory complications on Monday. He was 88.
A public funeral service is reportedly scheduled for Friday at the Washington National Cathedral. C-SPAN reports that Senator Inouye will return home to Hawaii on Saturday with a service set for Sunday at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific.
The decorated World War II veteran was the second longest serving senator in history, passing during his ninth term in office.
As the most senior member of the US Senate, Inouye was recognized as the president pro-tempore, recognition that has since been passed to Senator Patrick Leahy of Vermont.
Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-OH) was among those who paid their respects today. The following are remarks released by Speaker Boehner on his government website:
“On behalf of the United States House of Representatives, I extend sincere condolences to Senator Inouye’s family, his colleagues, and his constituents.
“In late 1963, a young freshman senator stood under this splendid dome, as we do now, in vigil and prayer.
“Years on, Daniel Inouye could still recall how quiet this ever-boisterous Rotunda became when President Kennedy’s casket arrived.
“‘All I heard,’ he said, ‘was the shuffling of feet.’
“That day, absorbed in his thoughts, this son of Hawaii and veteran of the 442nd couldn’t have imagined he would spend another five decades passing through this hall.
“He couldn’t have fathomed all the good that he would do here, helping to build a new state, gaining rights and benefits for veterans, supporting agriculture, speaking out against injustice, and becoming one of the most revered senators in our history.
“He couldn’t have fathomed it, and unassuming as he was, he wouldn’t have tried.
“Dan Inouye’s first thoughts were always for the nation he loved, and the state that he served to his last breath.
“And while this may be a quiet ceremony for a quiet man, it will endure long after the respects are paid.
“For when this Rotunda returns to life and the tour guides give their pitch, they will always speak of Daniel Inouye, the gentleman from Hawaii, and one of freedom’s most gallant champions.”