The LA Times reports that Senator Daniel Inouye will lie in state in the Capitol Rotunda today. The 88-year-old was only the second oldest serving Senator and became president Pro-tempore of the Senate after the longest-serving Senator, Robert Byrd, finally died.
Inouye served after Pearl Harbor in the famed Nisei 442 Infantry Regiment made famous in the 1951 movie “Go For Broke”. Inouye had his Distinguished Service Cross upgraded by President Clinton. His citation recounts the events on 21 April 1945 that led to the award;
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.
Despite the loss of his arm, Inouye remained in the Army until 1947 and was promoted to captain.
Although we disagreed quite often with the Senator, we honor his military service during difficult days.