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Tribute To Senator Dan Inouye

Floor Speech

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Date:
Location: Washington, DC

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Mr. McCONNELL. Mr. President, last October, the Senate had an opportunity to call attention to one of our colleagues who so rarely calls attention to himself when Senator Daniel Inouye became the third longest-serving Senator in U.S. history. This past Friday, Senator Inouye reached an even loftier milestone when he surpassed Strom Thurmond to become the second-longest serving Senator in history. So we honor him for this remarkable feat of longevity.

Senator Inouye's dedication to the people of Hawaii is legendary, and so is his story. He was only 17 when he heard the sirens over Honolulu and saw the gray planes overhead. But he was old enough to know that life would never be the same.

Sure enough, a few years later, he would be lying in a hospital bed at Percy Jones Army hospital recovering from wounds sustained in a grenade attack in the mountains of northern Italy. It was there that he first met his future colleague, Bob Dole, who evidently mentioned that after the war he planned to go to Congress.

As it turned out, Senator Inouye beat him by a few years, and he has survived him here in the Senate by many more.

For his heroic actions in World War II, Senator Inouye received our Nation's most prestigious award for military valor, and he has earned the admiration of all Americans. Dan Inouye became a member of one of the most decorated U.S. military units in American history and one of its longest-serving, and finest, Senators. So, Senator, thank you for your service, and congratulations on another remarkable achievement.

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