Remembering Sen. Daniel Inouye *

The senator from Hawaii, who has died at the age of 88, broke racial barriers on Capitol Hill and played a key role in the Senate Watergate investigation. But what's sometimes forgotten is his experience in World War II, when he lost an arm to a German hand grenade during a battle in Italy. Video is from the Ken Burns' documentary, "The War." From the NYT:

In 1943, Inouye volunteered for the Army and was assigned to the famed Japanese-American 442nd Regimental Combat Team, which earned the nickname "Go For Broke" and was one of the most decorated units of the war. Inouye rose to the rank of captain and earned the Distinguished Service Cross and Bronze Star. Many of the 22 veterans who received Medals of Honor in 2000 had been in the 442nd. Unlike the families of many of his comrades in arms, Inouye's wasn't subjected to the trauma and indignity of being sent by the U.S. government during the war to internment camps for Japanese Americans. "It was the ultimate of patriotism," Inouye said at a 442nd reunion. "These men, who came from behind barbed wire internment camps where the Japanese-Americans were held, to volunteer to fight and give their lives. ... We knew we were expendable."

* Noted: Inouye's widow, mentioned as a possible successor in the Senate, is Irene Hirano Inouye, the former president of the Japanese American National Museum in LA's Little Tokyo. She resigned in 2008 after becoming engaged to Inouye. She is currently chair of the board of the Ford Foundation.

More by Mark Lacter:
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Recent Obituaries stories:
Wanda Coleman, poet was 67 *
Raul Ramirez, major Bay Area journalist was 67
Bill Eppridge, photographer of iconic RFK image was 75
Les Plesko, Venice novelist was 59
Ray Dolby, sound pioneer was 80 (video)

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Mark Lacter
Mark Lacter created the LA Biz Observed blog in 2006. He posted until the day before his death on Nov. 13, 2013.
Mark Lacter, business writer and editor was 59
The multi-talented Mark Lacter
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