Happening Now

Senator Daniel K. Inouye, 1924 - 2012

December 18, 2012

Written By Sean Jeans Gail

The following was republished from Travel and Trains and Other Things, a blog written by NARP Board Member Jim Loomis.

Dan Inouye has died. He was 88.

He was probably never fully appreciated outside of Hawaii, but Dan’s an icon here. War hero who lost his right arm in Italy. Winner of the Congressional Medal of Honor. Served in the U.S. House and then, for 50 years, in the Senate.

I’m proud to say that last April, the National Association of Railroad Passengers presented Dan with its Golden Spike Award. It was for his consistent support of Amtrak over the years and, despite rabid opposition from the anti-rail people, for his efforts to secure federal funding for Honolulu’s proposed mass transit system.

The man had political clout almost beyond measure. A quiet word from Dan Inouye and things happened. Or didn’t.

He was one tough customer, but here’s the thing: when he came home to be with his constituents, with us folks in Hawaii, Dan Inouye was soft-spoken … respectful … humble. That’s why, among ourselves, we all called him “Dan”.

Not to his face, though. That was impossible.


Jim Loomis is the author of All Aboard! The Complete North American Train Travel Guide