Inouye to be Honored with Presidential Medal of Freedom

November 19, 2013, 8:54 AM HST · Updated November 19, 11:58 AM
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Late US Sen. Daniel Inouye. Photo courtesy, US Army Pacific.

Late US Sen. Daniel Inouye. Photo courtesy, US Army Pacific.

By Wendy Osher

Late US Senator Daniel K. Inouye will be honored posthumously tomorrow with the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian honor.

He is among a list of 16 notables receiving the honor this year, which also includes former President Bill Clinton, and Oprah Winfrey.

“Senator Daniel K. Inouye dedicated his life in the service of his beloved Hawaiʻi and our entire nation,” said US Representative Tulsi Gabbard in a statement.

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“As one of our country’s most distinguished soldiers and statesmen, Senator Inouye set an example of servant-leadership that we should each strive to follow. Words alone cannot adequately describe the positive impact he made on people’s lives in Hawaiʻi and around the world. The Presidential Medal of Freedom is a fitting tribute to the senator’s legacy and historic career serving our Hawaiʻi,” said Gabbard.

Fellow US Representative Colleen Hanabusa gave a one minute floor speech recognizing Senator Inouye, in advance of tomorrow’s ceremony.

“In his press release, the president recognized the senator for his life-long public service, including the highly decorated 442nd Regiment in WWII for which he was awarded the highest military honor, the Congressional Medal of Honor,” said Hanabusa.

“It is however, most noteworthy, that when asked how the senator wanted to be remembered, Sen. Inouye said very simply that ‘I represented the people of Hawaiʻi honestly and to the best of my ability. I think I did OK,’ were his words,” said Hanabusa.

“He was a true American, a humble man, and truly deserving of the highest civilian honor of this great country,” she said.

The ceremony will be held at 5:30 a.m. HST, on Wednesday, Nov. 20, 2013, at the White House in Washington, DC, and will be streamed live.

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