Sept. 7 would have been Senator Daniel Inouye's 89th birthday. Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell is hosting a public celebration today at the Honolulu Civic Center and planting a new kukui nut tree on the grounds in honor of the late senator.
To remember the quiet dignity and wisdom of Senator Inouye, we recommend the thoughtful and touching tribute that Michael Zuckerman and David Gergen wrote back in December for CNN. A short excerpt is below, but the whole piece, which includes some truly amazing stories from the Senator's service during World War II, is highly recommended:
There were many who knew Sen. Dan Inouye, a Democrat and Medal of Honor recipient from Hawaii who passed away Monday, better than we did. But we had the good fortune of sitting with him this past summer, interviewing him and hearing some of the remarkable stories from his life in America's service. The portrait that emerged was that of a man of courage, character, and, perhaps above all, a singular spirit of peace and good will that was forged, paradoxically, amid some of the most horrendous carnage of the Second World War.
Some of Inouye's deeds -- his valor serving on the German front in one of America's most decorated (and heavily wounded) units, his Herculean political efforts on behalf of his home state -- have been well remarked. What we were especially struck by was his quiet, sagelike humanity.