Monday, September 07, 2009

September 7: Daniel Inouye (b. 1924)

[Image description: A black-and-white portrait of a young Daniel Inouye]
Oftentimes, it takes as much, if not more, courage to speak out and oppose our government’s actions. It should be viewed no less patriotically than those who wave the American flag.

Happy 85th birthday to Senator Daniel Inouye, who has served in the Senate continuously since 1959. Inouye is also one of the several disabled veterans serving in Congress.

He was born to Japanese immigrant parents in Honolulu, and joined the Army in 1943; Japanese-Americans were prevented from enlisting before that year. In April 1945, his right forearm was amputated due to battlefield injuries in Italy. He met future colleague Bob Dole when both were recovering from their war injuries at an army hospital. Inouye abandoned plans for a medical career and used the GI Bill to study political science at the University of Hawaii at Manoa. The day Hawaii became a state in 1959, Inouye was sworn in as its first senator.

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