People travel from Hawaii, other states for Inouye cathedral ser - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

People travel from Hawaii, other states for Inouye cathedral service

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WASHINGTON, D.C. (HawaiiNewsNow) -

People traveled across the country to attend Friday's memorial service at Washington National Cathedral for the late Sen. Dan Inouye (D-Hawaii), and said they were touched by tributes from President Barack Obama and former President Bill Clinton as well as Hawaiian music during the service.

Being inside the sixth-largest cathedral in the world was awe-inspiring and beautiful said some of the hundreds of people who attended the service.

But participants also remembered the music from the service, including hymns sung by the Episcopal church's choir and the congregation.

And then there was the music by a Hawaiian trio called "the Aloha Boys," a group of former Hawaii residents who perform in the Washington area.

They began the ceremony by singing one of Inouye's favorites, the song "Kaimana Hila," about Diamond Head. The trio also performed the song "Over The Rainbow."

"We remember him attending kanikapila sessions throughout our community and he was always a great fan of having music sung or played in his presence," said Darlene Kehaulani Butts is the head of a Washington, D.C. area Hawaiian Civic Club. She runs a Hawaiian food catering business and lives in Stafford, Virginia.

Among those who traveled from Hawaii for Inouye's services this week was Walter Dods, the retired President of First Hawaiian Bank and longtime Inouye campaign adviser.

Just a few days before Christmas, many people dropped their plans to make their way to the nation's capital for tributes to the late senator.

People such as Sandy Pablo and son Nathan, who split their time between Portland, Maine and Kailua on Oahu.

Sandy met her late husband Chris when she was working for Hawaii Sen. Sparky Matsunaga and he was working for Inouye.

"He was Chris' greatest mentor and Chris' moral compass. And he meant so much to Chris and so much to our family that we had to come here to pay tribute," said Sandy Pablo after the service at National Cathedral Friday.

Her son Nathan Pablo said, "It was amazing to see someone that I grew up knowing as 'Uncle Danny' to see all of this. To see the current president, the former president, Vice President, members of Congress here, paying tribute to someone that, until I was much older, didn't realize who this mountain of a man really was."

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