Daniel Inouye was a 17-year-old high school student in Honolulu when his country, the United States, was attacked by Japan, the country of his ancestors. Initially denied the right to serve, as a so-called "enemy alien," he fought successfully for the right to wear his country's uniform and distinguished himself as an infantry officer in France and Italy. In the last days of the war in Europe, he lost his right arm in combat.
After the war, Daniel Inouye became a leader in the movement for Hawaiian statehood, and was chosen to serve as his state's first member of the U.S. House of Representatives. For nearly 50 years, he served in the United States Senate, an outspoken champion of equal rights for all Americans. Forty-five years after the end of World War II, he was awarded the Medal of Honor for his heroism on the field of battle.
Daniel Inouye was the second longest serving Senator in U.S. History. As President Pro Tempore of the Senate from 2010, he was third in line of succession to the presidency, the highest position in government ever attained by an Asian American.