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December 21, 2012

Obama Pays Tribute to Senator Inouye

by VOA News

U.S. President Barack Obama and other dignitaries remembered Senator Daniel Inouye, who died Monday at the age of 88, as a man of integrity and honor.

President Obama said at a memorial service at Washington National Cathedral Friday that Inouye served his country with courage and compassion. 

Inouye, who was third in line for the presidency, died from respiratory complications. His body will be flown to his home state of Hawaii.

Mr. Obama, who grew up in Hawaii, said Inouye was perhaps his first political inspiration, and if it were not for Inouye, the president may not have chosen a career in public service.

The first Japanese-American elected to Congress, Inouye, a Democrat, had served as a U.S. lawmaker since Hawaii became a state in 1959.

He was a representative, and then elected to the Senate in 1962.  He chaired the powerful Senate Appropriations Committee.

Inouye was a decorated World War II veteran who was seriously wounded in battle and lost his right arm.  He received the nation's highest military award, the Medal of Honor, for his actions in Italy.

Some information for this report was provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.