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story.lead_photo.caption Family members, state lawmakers and members of the public attend a visitation service for U.S. Sen. Daniel Inouye at the Hawaii state Capitol in Honolulu on Saturday Dec. 22, 2012. - Photo by Oskar Garcia / AP

— The late Sen. Daniel Inouye was remembered Sunday as an American hero whose legacy as a war veteran and longtime senator would be felt across Hawaii for years to come.

The memorial service at Honolulu's National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific was attended by more than 1,000 people, including President Barack Obama, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, Hawaii's congressional delegation and a number of other senators, cabinet secretaries and other dignitaries.

"Daniel was the best senator among us all," Reid told those assembled. "Whenever we needed a noble man to lean on, we turned to Sen. Dan Inouye. He was fearless."

The cemetery is the final resting place to thousands of World War II veterans. More than 400 members of the storied Japanese-American 442nd Regimental Combat Team — of which Inouye was a part — are buried at the site.

Several 442nd veterans attended the Sunday morning service, the latest in a number of tributes and honors for Inouye following the 88-year-old's Dec. 17 death from respiratory complications.

A 19-gun cannon salute was fired as Inouye's coffin arrived at the cemetery. The service also featured a flyover by F-22 military jets and the playing of "Taps" by Democratic Sen. Jon Tester of Montana.

Inouye's widow, who was seated with the president and first lady Michelle Obama in the front row, dabbed her eyes as a pipes and drums band played "Danny Boy."

Inouye was the first Japanese-American elected to both houses of Congress and the second-longest serving senator in U.S. history.

Several services have already been held in Washington and in Hawaii for Inouye. He lay in state at both the U.S. Capitol Rotunda on Thursday and the Hawaii state Capitol on Saturday.

Obama eulogized Inouye during a service at Washington's National Cathedral on Friday, saying that Inouye's presence during the Watergate hearings helped show him what could be possible in his own life.

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  • cliffcarson
    December 23, 2012 at 12:54 p.m.

    Seymour Hirsch wrote about Inouye and his bravery and honesty on several occasions. But the statement that comes to mind and needs reminding to all American citizens is how Inouye during the Iran - Contra Scandal described the shadow Government that actually runs America :
    “a shadowy government with its own Air Force and its own Navy, its own fundraising mechanism, and the ability to pursue its own idea of the national interest, free from all checks and balances, and free from the law itself.”

    And for those who don't remember the My Lai massacre, it was Inouye who forced Congress to face the evil that had been done to the people of My Lai - a sordid killing of innocents - and yes scalping some of them, for which not but one soldier was charged, and he for only a couple of weeks.

    A great man has gone on to be remembered by history as a brave and moral person the like of which not often comes our way.