By those who served with him or walked in his footsteps, Akaka honored for life of service

By those who served with him or walked in his footsteps, Akaka honored for life of service

Hawaii leaders remembered U.S. Sen. Daniel Akaka on Friday as a devoted public servant who exemplified the aloha spirit — and encouraged others to live it, too.

"A pure heart, a determined warrior for native Hawaiians, and a true public servant. We will miss you, Senator Akaka," U.S. Sen. Brian Schatz, in a statement posted on Twitter.

U.S. Sen. Mazie Hirono said Akaka "dedicated his life to serving the people of Hawaii."

"In Congress, Senator Akaka's care, empathy, and collegiality served as an example for us all. It's an honor to sit at his desk in the Senate chamber, and we continue his work to improve the lives of veterans and the Native Hawaiian community," Hirono said, on Twitter.

Akaka died Friday at the age of 93 due to organ failure.

Gov. David Ige has ordered all flags to be flown at half-staff Friday until the day of his interment.

Many others are sharing their thoughts on Akaka and the legacy he left behind. Here are more statements:

U.S. Rep. Colleen Hanabusa

Hawaii's heart is broken this morning as we learn of the passing of one of Hawaii's greatest statesman. Thank you, Senator Akaka, for your legacy of courage and love. You taught Congress and our nation how to fight with dignity and Aloha. We all aspire to lead like you.

Senator's passionate advocacy on behalf of Hawaii, Native Hawaiians, his students, veterans, and his contributions to our community and humanity cannot be easily measured. He gave his heart to Hawaii. Our thoughts and prayers are with Aunty Millie and the entire Akaka Ohana.

U.S. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard

My heart is heavy today as we remember my dear friend and mentor, Senator Daniel K. Akaka. With a servant's heart full of aloha, Senator Akaka dedicated his life to serving the people and our nation, in the U.S. Army, as a public school teacher, in the U.S. House of Representatives, and in the U.S. Senate. I am grateful to have worked with and known Senator Akaka over the years, and to have witnessed firsthand how he truly embodied the aloha spirit— treating all with kindness, respect, and love. His legacy of service and aloha will continue to inspire each of us to live aloha every day — serving others, protecting our planet, and fighting for justice, equality, and peace. My heart is with Aunty Millie and the entire Akaka 'ohana. A hui hou and aloha, my friend.

Gov. David Ige

Our beloved Sen. Akaka lived a life of service and aloha, and each of us in Hawai?i has benefited in countless ways. Our state mourns the loss of this man of upright character. While we celebrate his military service and dedication to our nation's veterans, his advocacy of the Hawaiian language and culture, and his work in Congress to recognize Filipino veterans, he was first and foremost a family man. Dawn and I send our condolences to Auntie Millie and the entire Akaka ?Ohana. A hui hou, Sen. Akaka.

Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell

Senator Akaka lived a life of love, kindness and aloha. I never heard him utter an unkind comment about a single person. He represented the best of Hawai'i and set the highest standard for all us in terms of human decency, and I will miss his quiet leadership. Our hearts go out to Millie and his entire 'ohana.

Lt. Gov. Doug Chin

Former U.S. Senator Daniel Akaka epitomized the true meaning of aloha.  He treated everyone with genuine kindness, grace and compassion.  We deeply mourn his passing and send our heartfelt sympathies to his family.  Rest in peace and love, Senator Akaka.

Former Gov. Neil Abercrombie

I'm sure that Sen. Akaka will be recalled and remembered for embodying the word aloha, all that it means and all it should mean.

State House Speaker Scott Saiki

Senator Akaka served Hawaii with dignity, respect and humility. He never lost sight of his values and the need to protect our state and its people.  Hawaii has lost an extraordinary statesman.

State Sen. Jill Tokuda

Senator Akaka was the heart and soul of Hawaii, and he inspired us to treat each other with respect and kindness. Now, more than ever, it is important we heed his words and live and lead as he would want us to—with compassion, humility, and above all, Aloha.

State Rep. Beth Fukumoto

The kindest man you could ever meet in the world of politics, former Sen. Daniel Akaka dedicated his life to making Hawaii a better place to live and bringing our values to Washington. Mahalo Senator. You'll be missed.

This story will be updated.

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