December 04, 2013

December Update from the Daniel K. Inouye Institute

Mon Grey


Aloha dear friends,

On November 20th, our beloved Senator Inouye received the highest civilian honor our nation can bestow – the Medal of Freedom on the 50th anniversary of its establishment by President John F. Kennedy in 1963. The medal is awarded to those persons who the President deems to have made especially meritorious contributions to the United States.

It was an uplifting and inspiring, yet bittersweet ceremony. In describing our Senator, President Obama's words were especially poignant. "As the second longest serving senator in American history, he showed a generation of young people, including one kid with a funny name growing up in Hawaii, who noticed that there was somebody during those hearings in Washington that didn't look like everybody else – which meant that I had a chance to do something important too."

The President went on to say that Danny "always honored his family and his country, even though his country didn't always honor him." ... "No matter what you looked like or where you came from, this country has a place for everyone who is willing to serve and to work hard." These were indeed the Senator's codes of conduct. From all accounts, he is likely the only Hawaii resident, born and raised, to receive the Medal of Freedom.

Senator Inouye is only one of two persons in our nation's history to receive both the Medal of Freedom and the Medal of Honor, the highest award for military valor. (Jimmy Doolittle, a World War II veteran, is the other.)

Our only regret is that he was not alive to receive the medal himself and the many accolades.

It is difficult to believe that we are fast approaching a year since he left us for the other side of the rainbow. There has been such an outpouring of aloha as we have comforted one another during this difficult year.

As we enter the holiday season,

Let us continue to give thanks for our many blessings.

Let us say a prayer for our men and women in the armed services who continue to stand the watch on our behalf.

Let us carry forward Senator's lifetime lessons on leadership, humility, and courage. His greatest legacy.

Let us carry on.

Thank you for your continuing support, friendship and kindness.


Irene, Kenny & Jennifer


P.S. We are encouraging all to share their email address with us – if you would like to do this, please email Sara at


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