In the shadow of the Capitol where Senator Daniel Inouye worked for 5 decades, family, friends and colleagues gathered for a gala at the Library of Congress to honor his service and the award he'll receive tomorrow, the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
Irene Inouye welcomed us into her Maryland condo to see mementos from her late husband Dan's 5 decades working for Hawaii on Capitol Hill.
She pointed out one special framed Senate souvenir, saying "This was the certificate when he was first sworn in to the Senate in 1963. Exactly 50 years and now the Medal of Freedom. Yes, 50th anniversary of Presidential Medal of Freedom so it's kind of a bittersweet moment."
She also invited us to a Library of Congress Gala in the Senator's honor. She shared the significance of the date and award of this Presidential Medal of Freedom Honor with family, friends, Senate colleagues and supporters. This is the 50th anniversary. This medal dates back to President John F. Kennedy Jr. In 1963, the same year Inouye was sworn into the Senate. "President Obama will award Dan the Presidential Medal of Freedom which is the highest honor you can give to civilians.
Other Senate colleagues shared their remembrances. Democratic Senator Tom Harkin of Iowa shared, "here in the Senate, his character and conscience set the standard across 5 decades.
Senate Chaplain Barry Black added, "There were no greater challenges than World War II and he handled them with faith, honor, integrity, and humility. Danny Inouye will always be missed."
Gone, but remembered fondly, and honored for his selfless service.
His son Ken told Washington veterans at the gala, "There's an old saying in Washington. Politics has a short memory and Washington D.C. has a short memory. when, you're gone, you're gone, but that doesn't appear to be the case. Look at everyone gathered here tonight to remember and appreciate my Dad. For that, I say mahalo."
We will be at the White House for the Medal of Freedom Ceremony and have live reports on Hawaii News Now Sunrise. The medal presentation is expected to happen around 6 AM Hawaii time. Tannya has an exclusive invitation to attend from Mrs. Inouye and will bring us an exclusive inside look at the ceremony and reaction Thursday.