Presidential Medal of Freedom awarded to late Sen. Dan Inouye - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Presidential Medal of Freedom awarded to late Sen. Dan Inouye

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) -

During a ceremony at the White House on Wednesday, the late Senator Daniel K. Inouye was posthumously honored with the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest civilian honor in the United States.

Inouye's widow, Irene Hirano Inouye, accepted the award on her husband's behalf from President Barack Obama, who again called Inouye one of his political inspirations.

"And as the second longest serving senator in American history," Obama said, "he showed a generation of young people, including one kid with a funny name growing up in Hawaii... That there was somebody during some of those hearings in Washington that didn't look like everybody else, which meant that maybe I had a chance to do something important too."

Moments after clasping the medal around the neck of President Bill Clinton, Obama hugged Irene and handed her the medal for Inouye.

"Danny always honored his family and his country, even when his country didn't always honor him," the President said.

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