WASHINGTON, DC – House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) paid his respects to Senator Daniel K. Inouye today at a memorial service honoring the late senator from Hawaii. Senator Inouye, a Medal of Honor recipient and faithful public servant for more than 50 years, will lie in state today in the U.S. Capitol Rotunda. Following are Speaker Boehner’s remarks:
“On behalf of the United States House of Representatives, I extend sincere condolences to Senator Inouye’s family, his colleagues, and his constituents.
“In late 1963, a young freshman senator stood under this splendid dome, as we do now, in vigil and prayer.
“Years on, Daniel Inouye could still recall how quiet this ever-boisterous Rotunda became when President Kennedy’s casket arrived.
“‘All I heard,’ he said, ‘was the shuffling of feet.’
“That day, absorbed in his thoughts, this son of Hawaii and veteran of the 442nd couldn’t have imagined he would spend another five decades passing through this hall.
“He couldn’t have fathomed all the good that he would do here, helping to build a new state, gaining rights and benefits for veterans, supporting agriculture, speaking out against injustice, and becoming one of the most revered senators in our history.
“He couldn’t have fathomed it, and unassuming as he was, he wouldn’t have tried.
“Dan Inouye’s first thoughts were always for the nation he loved, and the state that he served to his last breath.
“And while this may be a quiet ceremony for a quiet man, it will endure long after the respects are paid.
“For when this Rotunda returns to life and the tour guides give their pitch, they will always speak of Daniel Inouye, the gentleman from Hawaii, and one of freedom’s most gallant champions.”