April 26, 2015

Daniel P. Inouye, RIP


For immediate release

Contact:  Gautam Dutta, 202.236.2048

AAA-Fund Mourns the Passing of Senator Daniel P. Inouye

Washington, DC., Dec. 17, 2012 — The Asian American Action Fund shares tremendous shock as we say farewell to a giant in our community, Senator Daniel K. Inouye.  Senator Inouye was the most senior member of the United States Senate, President Pro Tempore, and third in line to the Presidency.
“With heavy hearts, we mourn the passing of a leader who led by example,” said AAA-Fund Deputy Executive Director Melissa Unemori Hampe.  “Senator Inouye will be greatly missed, but he has left a legacy that is unmatched and will continue to call others to public service,” she added.

Senator Inouye’s accomplishments are well known.  Here’s just a sampling of them:  World War II Medal of Honor hero and a part of the much-decorated 442 Regimental Combat Team, first Congressman from the State of Hawai’i, elected to nine terms in the U.S. Senate, Chairman of the powerful Senate Appropriations Committee.

“In losing Senator Inouye, we lose an iconic hero, a champion, and a giant—not only in our AAPI community, but in the larger American populace,” said AAA-Fund Chair-Elect Bel Leong-Hong.  “It is truly a sad moment,” she added.

As AAA-Fund Board Member Gloria T. Caoile noted, Senator Inouye “was always a dignified and gracious man who fought hard not only for our community, but every community.”

Senator Inouye consistently championed many significant causes, including:  the ultimately successful effort to ensure proper redress for Japanese Americans who had been interned during World War II, the granting of full benefits to Filipino Veterans, and federal recognition for Native Hawaiians.

More than all of that, he inspired generations of APIAs to run for and succeed in public office.  For these and other accomplishments, AAA-Fund honored the Senator with its Lifetime Achievement Award in 2010.


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