It was with great sadness that we learned of the passing of Sen. Daniel Inouye of Hawaii yesterday, Monday December 17th. Sen. Inouye was part of the inaugural Ellis Island Medal of Honor event in 1986 alongside such American heroes as Rosa Parks and Joe DiMaggio.
We are proud that for many years Sen. Inouye was a great friend and supporter of NECO and the Ellis Island Medals of Honor as well as serving as an Honorary Chairperson.
Even before he was honored in 1986, Sen. Inouye had distinguished himself as a patriot and hero, having fought and lost his right arm in World War II and in 1963, by becoming the first Japanese-American to serve in Congress. He chaired or was a member of many important investigative committees on Capitol Hill including the Watergate hearings and the Iran-Contra Arms affair in the late 1980s. He was re-elected to a ninth term in 2010 with a landslide victory which garnered him 75% of the vote. Until his death, Sen. Inouye helmed the Senate Appropriations Committee.
President Obama remembered the Senator in a statement, “Tonight, our country has lost a true American hero with the passing of Sen. Daniel Inouye. It was his incredible bravery during World War II — including one heroic effort that cost him his arm but earned him the [congressional]Medal of Honor — that made Danny not just a colleague and a mentor, but someone revered by all of us lucky enough to know him.”
NECO joins the nation in mourning the passing of this great American.