17 December 2012

Senator Daniel K Inouye

The HNL RareBirds team expresses its condolences to the family of the late US Senator Daniel K Inouye (HI-D). He was 88, and passed away today from complications from a respiratory illness.

Beyond any political party lines, the State of Hawai‘i, including the military, airline industry, travel industry, and aviation, benefitted much from the senator's tenure in office. According to his website, he worked to get the Hawai‘i Air National Guard to upgrade to the F-22A Raptor and C-17A Globemaster III; worked (and was working) to get improvements funding for all state airports; and instrumental in reviving the cargo division of Aloha Airlines, after its closure, were among his many accomplishments.

The senator was a true American hero. He was a World War II veteran, a soldier in the 442nd RCT "Go For Broke", who lost his right arm in combat. He went on to serve in Congress, and spent the past five decades as the state's senator, with the last few years as President Pro Temporé.

On a personal note, I had the opportunity to meet Senator Inouye during the F-22A Raptor blessing at HIK, in July 2010. He was one of the speakers during the event, and toured the pair of Raptors that were parked behind the stage. My one regret, was not getting a photo with him.

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