Mr. BYRD. Mr. President, with great pleasure I congratulate the senior Senator from Hawaii, Mr. Daniel Inouye, for becoming the second longest-serving Senator in history. He achieved this distinction last Friday when he became only the second person to have served in the Senate for 17,327 days.
I also want to use this opportunity to congratulate Senator Inouye on what I am sure he considers a bigger, and even more important event in his life, the birth of his first grandchild, Mary Margaret ``Maggie'' Inouye. Maggie was born on April 20 to Ken and Jessica Inouye, the son and daughter-in-law of our esteemed colleague. I wish all of them the best of health and happiness.
I have remarked many times on this floor that Senator Inouye is my ``No. 1 hero.'' No one has ever served our country more extensively, or more bravely and with more loyalty and determination, than has Senator Inouye.
During World War II, he served in the famed 442nd Infantry Regimental Combat Team, the most decorated Army unit in the history of United States. In recognition of his war heroics, he was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross, the Bronze Star, the Purple Heart, and the Congressional Medal of Honor, making him one of only seven Senators to have been awarded our Nation's highest military honor.
In 1963, he became the first Japanese American ever to serve in the U.S. Congress. And in this Chamber he has served his State and our country with great distinction. Senator Inouye has served on the Senate Watergate Committee, the Congressional Iran Contra Committee, the Senate Appropriations Committee, and as Secretary of the Democratic Conference.
And during his long and productive career in this Chamber, he has become my dear friend. I was honored and pleased when he was the person who nominated me for my third term as Senate whip in 1975. Foremost, I have always appreciated his deep loyalty to the Senate and to me when I was the Senate Democratic leader and he was serving as secretary of the Democratic Conference.
Now, Senator Inouye has achieved another milestone in a career filled with achievements and successes, and I commend him on it.
Congratulations Senator Inouye, my friend, my colleague and my ``No. 1 hero!''