[Congressional Record Volume 158, Number 163 (Tuesday, December 18, 2012)]
[Pages S8115-S8116]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]

                      REMEMBERING DANIEL K. INOUYE

  Mr. McCONNELL. Mr. President, the U.S. Senate has been conducting its 
business here in Washington for just over 200 years, and for more than 
a fifth of that time, Senator Dan Inouye of Hawaii stood in its ranks. 
It was just one of the many astonishing feats for a man who so rarely 
called attention to himself but who had every reason in the world to do 
so. In a life of honors he was never drawn to fanfare, and that always 
made him a different kind of Senator. So today we mourn not only a 
friend and a colleague but also everything he represented to a nation 
that will always need courageous and principled men such as Dan Inouye 
if it is to flourish and succeed.
  The people who worked with Dan Inouye might have known he served in 
World War II, but they could have gone years without knowing he was one 
of the most decorated soldiers of his time. To Dan, his achievements 
were simply part of the job--and they were many. They start with his 
military heroism, of course, and they continue throughout his long 
career of public service. He was the iconic political figure of the 
fiftieth State.
  Until his death, he was the only original member of a congressional 
delegation still serving in Congress, and there is scarcely an acre of 
Hawaii or a person in the State that Dan hasn't affected or influenced.
  Over many years of diligent committee work, he helped ensure an 
entire generation of uniformed military went into battle well prepared 
and that they were well cared for when they returned. Yet despite all 
this, Dan's quiet demeanor and strict adherence to an older code of 
honor and professionalism made him a stranger to controversy throughout 
his many decades in public office. He was the kind of man and the kind 
of public servant, in other words, that America has always been 
grateful to have, especially in her darkest hours--men who lead by 
example and expect nothing in return.
  One of my favorite Dan Inouye stories took place right here in the 
Capitol back in 1959. The memory of a hard-fought war against the 
Japanese was fresh in many minds as the Speaker of the House, Sam 
Rayburn, prepared to administer the oath to a young war hero who was 
not only the first Member from Hawaii but the first American of 
Japanese descent ever elected to Congress.
  ''Raise your right hand and repeat after me . . . '' Rayburn said.
  And here is how another Congressman would later record what followed:

       The hush deepened as the young Congressman raised not his 
     right hand but his left and repeated the oath of office. 
     There was no right hand. It had been lost in combat by that 
     young American soldier in World War II. And who can deny that 
     at that moment, a ton of prejudice slipped quietly to the 
     floor of the House of Representatives.

  It is a perfect image of how Dan led by example throughout his long 
career--with quiet dignity and unquestioned integrity.
  It started early for Dan. As a young boy growing up in Hawaii, he and 

[[Page S8116]]

friends always thought of themselves as Americans. Yet after Pearl 
Harbor they suddenly found themselves lumped in with the enemy. It was 
one of the reasons so many of them felt such an intense desire to 
serve. Their loyalty and patriotism had been questioned, and they were 
determined to prove their allegiance beyond any doubt.
  When the Army lifted its ban on Japanese Americans, Dan and his 
friends jumped at the chance to serve. An astonishing 80 percent of 
military-age men of Japanese descent who lived in Hawaii volunteered--
80 percent. Mr. President, 2,686 of them were accepted, including Dan, 
who was an 18-year-old student at the University of Hawaii.
  Together, they formed what would become the most decorated military 
unit in American history, the famed 442nd Regimental Combat Team. As 
platoon leader, Dan spent 3 bloody months in the Rome Arno campaign and 
2 brutal weeks rescuing a Texas battalion that was surrounded by German 
forces, an operation military historians often describe as one of the 
most significant battles of the 20th century.
  After the rescue, Dan was sent back to Italy, where on April 21, 
1945, in a ridge near San Terenzo, he displayed the extraordinary 
bravery for which he would later receive the Medal of Honor. Dan then 
spent nearly 2 years in a Michigan Army hospital where he also met Bob 
Dole and Philip Hart.
  Dan had always wanted to be a surgeon, but that dream faded away on 
that ridge in Italy. Instead, he became a very fine Senator and one of 
the most impressive and effective public servants of our time.
  Dan never let narrow party interests stand in the way of friendship 
or cooperation on matters of real national importance. His friendship 
with former Republican Senator Ted Stevens was one of the most storied 
in all of Senate history. I know I never hesitated to call on Dan when 
I thought something truly important was at stake. As Dan always said: 
``To have friends, you've got to be a friend.''
  It is a good principle. It is one he always lived up to. And it is 
one that is needed now more than ever.
  Elaine and I extend to Irene and the entire Inouye family our deepest 
sympathy on their loss, which is also the Nation's loss. It was a 
privilege to have worked alongside this good man and to call him a 
friend. We will miss him. Yet we are consoled by the thought that he 
has now finally heard those words he longed to hear: ``Well done, good 
and faithful servant . . . enter into your master's joy.''
  I yield the floor.
  I suggest the absence of a quorum.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER (Mrs. Shaheen). The clerk will call the roll.
  The bill clerk proceeded to call the roll.
  Mr. GRASSLEY. I ask unanimous consent that the order for the quorum 
call be rescinded.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
  Mr. GRASSLEY. I ask unanimous consent to speak as if in morning 
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
  Mr. GRASSLEY. Madam President, I would like to speak, as many of my 
colleagues have, about Senator Inouye.
  When I was a new Senator, the first encounter I had with Senator 
Inouye was when he invited me to go with him to the University of 
Hawaii to debate some issue--and I don't remember exactly what the 
issue was. Obviously, I didn't know what I was getting into because he 
had been in the Senate by then a quarter of a century, I believe, and I 
was new. But I was glad to be invited and felt honored to be invited. 
So I suppose every Senator here is going to be able to have a lot of 
memories of Senator Inouye.
  I come to the floor to pay tribute, as we ought to, to our friend. I 
have heard the tributes paid to Senator Inouye by his fellow Senators, 
and that has gone on over the past several hours since his passing. It 
is a strong testament to the character of Senator Inouye that his loss 
as a friend and colleague is so deeply felt. Senator Inouye impressed 
many of us with his quiet determination, his dedication to right and 
wrong, and his sheer decency.
  He was a gentle force in the Senate, with emphasis upon ``force,'' 
but that adjective ``gentle'' is very legitimate. He had a strong work 
ethic and was very productive on behalf of the entire United States. 
Also, of course, as all of us do, we have to look out for the people in 
our States, so he looked out for his beloved State of Hawaii as well.
  Because he was restrained in his demeanor, when he spoke he commanded 
real attention. He was well respected in the Senate for his life-long 
statesmanship and for his early displays of courage and sacrifice for 
our country.
  Barely out of his teens, Senator Inouye confronted more tests of his 
bravery than the vast majority of us will face in a lifetime. He passed 
those tests with flying colors, and his representation of American 
interests in the heavy combat theaters of World War II was something he 
had to pursue. For him, it was not a perfunctory act. Even though he 
was an eyewitness to the Japanese warplanes flying overhead in their 
assault on Hawaii, he could not enlist in the U.S. military at the time 
because he was Japanese American. He and others petitioned our 
government, and when they were allowed to enlist, he certainly did.
  He and his fellow Americans of Japanese descent went on to serve with 
tremendous skill and heroism. I encourage everyone to read about 
Senator Inouye's wartime experience, the medals he won and the bravery 
he established to win the Medal of Honor.
  He teaches all of us about answering the call to duty with 
determination and without hesitation, just as he did. His example of 
selflessness and his elevation of common cause over individual interest 
are especially relevant in these trying times.
  In Congress, if we all sacrifice more and worry about self-
preservation less, we can accomplish a lot for the country Senator 
Inouye fought to save and to serve his people afterwards in the Senate. 
I am glad to have served with and learned from Senator Inouye.
  I yield the floor, and I suggest the absence of a quorum.
  Mr. LEAHY. I ask unanimous consent that the order for the quorum call 
be rescinded.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Vermont.
  Mr. LEAHY. Madam President, what is the parliamentary situation?
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senate is in a period of morning business.
  Mr. LEAHY. I thank the distinguished Presiding Officer. I assume that 
we are going back and forth.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Louisiana.
  Ms. LANDRIEU. Madam President, I would be happy to accommodate other 
Senators, but I came to the floor to speak for about 10 minutes on the 
supplemental. I see Senator McCain. I don't know if he came to speak on 
Senator Inouye or on the supplemental.
  Senator Merkley and Senator Stabenow now want to introduce an 
amendment. Is that appropriate?
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator is correct. That is appropriate.
  The Senator from Arizona.
  Mr. McCAIN. Madam President, I would request we do as usual in 
morning business, back and forth, if that is all right, and I could 
follow the Senator from Louisiana.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
  Ms. LANDRIEU. If the Senator would yield, the Senators here, the 
Senators from Oregon and Michigan, just wanted 1 minute to get in their 
amendment, and then I would speak for a few minutes and then Senator 
McCain. Would that be all right?
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.