A Quick Eulogy for a Man Who Deserves Only the Kindest Words

17 Dec

Sen. Daniel Inouye, a man for fought tirelessly for justice, passed away today at the age of 88. In both his service in WWII, for which he received the Medal of Honor, the Bronze Star, and two Purple Hearts among other commendations; and in his legislative service of 3 years of as Representative of Hawaii, and 50 years as Senator; Dan fought inequality wherever he saw it. As a legislator, he fought hard for the civil rights of people of color, women, LBGTQ Americans, and people with disabilities. He worked indefatigably to ensure the crimes the US committed against Native Americans and Japanese Americans were never forgotten, and to restore rights to our Native American population. He helped pass hate crime legislation, and secured funds for victims of domestic violence. He was passionate about making our gun policy safer. Unlike a distressing number of politicians, what Sen. Inouye truly cared about was representing his state honorably, routinely telling his staff members that if he ever got to the point where his aging impeded his ability to properly perform his duties as Senator, they should do whatever they could to get him out of office. He wanted Hawaii to have the best representation it could — with or without him.

Sen. Inouye was one of the good guys: he got where he was because he cared so deeply about the American people. We would be incredibly fortunate if we had more legislators like him. His passing is not just a loss for his family, or for the state of Hawaii, but for all of us. May he rest in peace.

 

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