The late Sen. Daniel Inouye will be honored by lying in state for public viewing in the rotunda of the U.S. Capitol on Thursday, House and Senate leaders announced on Tuesday.
Inouye, a Democrat from Hawaii, had represented his state in Congress since Hawaii was granted statehood and had earned the Medal of Honor for his service in World War II.
He died Monday as a result of respiratory complications at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center. His last words were the traditional Hawaiian greeting and farewell of "Aloha," according to his staff.
In announcing the honor for Inouye, House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, said that the tribute was fitting for one who had served his country the way the Senator had.
"Inouye's life of service and sacrifice was dedicated to the preservation of democracy, so it is right and fitting that he will lie in state under one of its most enduring symbols, the Capitol Dome," Boehner said.
He added, "It will be our honor to join the American people in paying final respects to this great senator and statesman."
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., also hailed Inouye in the announcement.
"Senator Inouye was one of the noblest souls this body has ever seen. He was a true patriot and statesman who represented our fiftieth state from the first day it joined the union," Reid said.
He added, "He was an institution unto himself, and he deserves to spend one more day in this institution to which he dedicated his life's work."
According to a resolution passed by the Senate this week honoring Inouye, he had served the people of Hawaii for more than 58 years through the Territorial House of Representatives, Territorial Senate, United States House of Representatives, and United States Senate.
While in the U.S. Senate, Inouye had served as the President Pro Tempore of the Senate and as chairman of numerous committees, including the Appropriations Committee, the Select Committee on Intelligence, the Indian Affairs Committee, the Commerce Committee and the Defense subcommittee.
Earlier in his life, according to the resolution, Inouye had served as a medical volunteer during the Pearl Harbor attack of Dec. 7, 1941 and then volunteered for the all Japanese-American 442nd Regimental Combat Team in World War II, earning an honorable discharge as a Captain and the Distinguished Service Cross, Bronze Star, Purple Heart with cluster, and 12 other medals and citations.
In June of 2000, Inouye, along with 21 other Asian-American veterans of World War II, was awarded the Medal of Honor by then-President Bill Clinton.
The honor of lying in state in the Capitol rotunda is reserved for Presidents and other significant civic leaders. According to the office of the architect of the Capitol, only 11 U.S. Senators, three of whom went on to become presidents, have lain in state in the Capitol.
by RTT Staff Writer
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