Sen. Daniel Inouye a humble hero

Sen. Daniel Inouye a humble hero

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - President Obama will award Senator Daniel Inouye the highest civilian honor posthumously this week. Tannya Joaquin is a guest of the Inouye family for the Presidential Medal of Freedom ceremony and will bring us live reports all week long.

The Senator's longtime Chief of Staff Jennifer Sabas shared pictures from his private collection, saying, "These are the Watergate photos which is where he really made a name for himself."

Daniel Inouye never set out to make a name for himself, but he did, with distinguished service in the Army, then Congress, with honor and humility. Even if most never could get his name right as evidenced during the Congressional Medal of Honor ceremony in 2000.

That was the Senator's career highlight-- when President Bill Clinton presented him with The Medal of Honor.

I met up with the Senator's son Ken at Punchbowl and asked him how his father would react to receiving the Presidential Medal of Freedom, our nation's top civilian recognition.

Ken laughed and said, "The funny thing is whenever some sort of recognition would happen, he would say what's all the fuss about? Then later, he would say that was pretty cool huh?"

That's an understatement. Senator Inouye will become only the second person in history to receive both medals.

His son and widow Irene will accept the honor posthumously on his behalf, alongside President Clinton and American icons like Oprah Winfrey.

Tannya asked the Senator's widow Irene, "Do you think he would get a kick out of being honored with Oprah and other American heroes?"

Her response? "As you know, he's very humble and he loved everyday being able to serve people here in the Hawaii and the nation. To receive an honor for something he loved doing, to him would be very special."

Stay with Hawaii News Now for continuing coverage of the ceremony, celebration gala, and other exclusive reports. Tomorrow, Tannya will travel to the Inouye condo in Maryland for a look at his private life away from Washington, D.C.

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