Daniel Inouye, US Senator from Hawaii, passed away on December 17th, 2012. You’ve probably never heard of him, but he played an important role in US history. As a young man, he wanted to become a surgeon, and after the attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941 he was a medical volunteer caring for the injured.
He wanted to join the Army, but the US placed a ban, preventing Japanese Americans from enlisting. Two years later, in 1943, the ban was dropped, and Daniel left medical school. He excelled in service and rose quickly in rank, and because he lost his right arm in the war, he was unable to continue his medical career.
He became Hawaii’s first Senator, and he was the longest-serving Senator in US history.
I’ll leave you with his Medal of Honor citation from President Bill Clinton:
“Second Lieutenant Daniel K. Inouye distinguished himself by extraordinary heroism in action on 21 April 1945, in the vicinity of San Terenzo, Italy. While attacking a defended ridge guarding an important road junction, Second Lieutenant Inouye skillfully directed his platoon through a hail of automatic weapon and small arms fire, in a swift enveloping movement that resulted in the capture of an artillery and mortar post and brought his men to within 40 yards of the hostile force. Emplaced in bunkers and rock formations, the enemy halted the advance with crossfire from three machine guns. With complete disregard for his personal safety, Second Lieutenant Inouye crawled up the treacherous slope to within five yards of the nearest machine gun and hurled two grenades, destroying the emplacement. Before the enemy could retaliate, he stood up and neutralized a second machine gun nest. Although wounded by a sniper’s bullet, he continued to engage other hostile positions at close range until an exploding grenade shattered his right arm. Despite the intense pain, he refused evacuation and continued to direct his platoon until enemy resistance was broken and his men were again deployed in defensive positions. In the attack, 25 enemy soldiers were killed and eight others captured. By his gallant, aggressive tactics and by his indomitable leadership, Second Lieutenant Inouye enabled his platoon to advance through formidable resistance, and was instrumental in the capture of the ridge. Second Lieutenant Inouye’s extraordinary heroism and devotion to duty are in keeping with the highest traditions of military service and reflect great credit on him, his unit, and the United States Army.”
I often think while he was here in the US did anyone tell him about Jesus? He received the Medal of Honor, but did anyone ever tell him?
Today we remember our soldiers. Those that fought for our freedom. Let’s not forget to be a witness to them.