Sen. Daniel Inouye 1924 – 2012

Story by – Yukon-Kuskokwim Health Corporation

December 20, 2012 - 1 minute read
In the summer of 2008, Sen. Ted Stevens brought his good friend Hawaiian Sen. Daniel Inouye on a tour of rural Alaska. They stopped by to visit Bethel just as YKHC was having its annual employee recognition picnic. (YKHC file photo)

We learned with sadness this week of the passing of Hawaii Senator Daniel Inouye. At age 88, Sen. Inouye was the longest-serving member of the U.S. Senate; his was a face and character that came to symbolize, for many, the state he represented.

Alaskans, and particularly residents of the YK-Delta, knew him as the best friend and “brother” of our own Senator Ted Stevens. They were both World War II veterans and shared a sense of service to their country that transcended political party divisions. Although Inouye was a Democrat and Stevens a Republican, we often heard Stevens say, “we can disagree without being disagreeable.” We can’t help but feel that attitude is sorely needed today.

Like Stevens, Inouye was a great champion for his state, and for the Native people of his state. Inouye was also a long time member of the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs and a staunch supporter of tribal self-governance.

We join our Hawaiian friends, his Senate colleagues and all Americans in expressing our condolences and sincere respects for his wife and family.