With the passing of Dan Akaka we say goodbye to our Ambassador of Aloha.
The senator who would ask you to call him Danny, kept his humility and simplicity through decades in Washington, while all around him egos and greed ran amok.
Even in that environment he managed to keep his family first — his wife Millie was at his side constantly, even at his senate office.
His graciousness, dignity and respect could melt partisan barriers and calm an angry moment.
The world war two veteran didn't pick fights, but he didn't run from them either.
His decades long battle for federal recognition of native Hawaiians fell short, but not because of his failure. It died along with the spirit of bipartisanship in Washington.
But Akaka did succeed in winning a long-overdue apology for the illegal overthrow of the Hawaiian nation.
That healing piece of legislation will forever be part of Daniel Akaka's legacy.
But even more so the legend of a man who never forgot his roots or his people or his dedication to serve.
Hawaii can be proud that this Hawaiian gentlemen was there to show the world what Aloha was all about. His family said they were lucky to have him for so long, and so were we.
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