Senator Inouye passed away on December 17 of respiratory complications. He started serving the people of Hawaii in 1959 (the year the islands received statehood) as member of Congress before being elected to the Senate in 1962. He was re-elected every six years thereafter, becoming one of the longest continuous serving members in U.S. history.
“Senator Inouye was a fighter for the U.S.-flag maritime industry and its workers,” MTD President Michael Sacco recalled. “He knew having a strong U.S.-flag fleet was not only important to his state, but also for the whole country.
“We will greatly miss his leadership and his counsel,” Sacco added.
In addition to his service on Capitol Hill, Inouye also was a veteran of World War II, losing his right arm in combat in Italy in 1945. He received the Distinguished Service Cross which was upgraded to the Medal of Honor – the nation’s highest military award – for his actions in destroying three enemy machine gun nests while seriously wounded.