Ceremony in Honolulu Remembers Senator

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HONOLULU -- They chartered a plane from Washington to bid a final farewell to their old friend.

They were Democrats and Republicans who, for one day at least, left behind the bitter budget fight playing out in the capital to pay tribute on Sunday to Senator Daniel K. Inouye of Hawaii, a Democrat, who died last Monday at 88 after serving in the Senate for five decades.

Senator Patrick J. Leahy of Vermont snapped pictures here at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific. Senator Jon Tester of Montana held a silver trumpet, which he would use to play taps to close the service. Senator Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, who thought Mr. Inouye was such a champion of her home state that she called him its third senator, was also there to pay respects.

And President Obama, seated in the first row, put his arm around his wife, Michelle, and talked with her softly as they waited for the coffin to be carried down the aisle.

Mr. Obama, who is vacationing with his family here on the island of Oahu for Christmas, did not speak at the ceremony. But two of Mr. Inouye's Senate colleagues did: Harry Reid of Nevada, the majority leader, and Daniel K. Akaka, who is retiring as Hawaii's junior senator.

Mr. Reid told a story that left many in the crowd emotional. He recalled how Bob Dole, a former senator from Kansas and a wounded World War II veteran like Mr. Inouye, visited the Capitol rotunda as Mr. Inouye's body lay in state last week.

Mr. Dole, who is 89, was using his wheelchair as he and Mr. Reid entered the rotunda. Suddenly, Mr. Reid said, Mr. Dole spoke up.

"He looked up, and he said, 'Danny's not going to see me in my wheelchair,' " Mr. Reid recalled. "And even though he needed a little assistance, he walked. And it wasn't a short distance."

After the service concluded, the president visited the grave of his grandfather Stanley Dunham, a World War II veteran.

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This article originally appeared in The New York Times.


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