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Akaka bids ‘aloha’ to his former colleague Inouye

Inouye died Monday at the age of 88. He had been hospitalized earlier this month at the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Md., for respiratory complications.

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“It is an incredible understatement to call him an institution, but this chamber will never be the same without him,” Akaka said. “The way he conducted himself commanded respect for all that he worked with.”

Inouye was third in line for the presidency as president pro-temp of the Senate. Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), the next most senior senator, now takes that slot.

Inouye also served as the Senate Appropriations Committee chairman. He had served Hawaii in the House right after it gained statehood in 1959.

“Tomorrow will be the first day since Hawaii became a state in 1959 that Dan Inouye will not be representing us,“ Akaka said. “He really worked to shape Hawaii and this great country.

“You’ll be missed in Washington as much as you’ll be missed in Hawaii. Rest in peace.”