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Daniel Inouye, the longtime Democratic senator from Hawaii, has died at the age of 88 after being hospitalized earlier in the week due to respiratory illness.  Inouye was the President Pro Tempore of the Senate and has served Hawaii since 1963.

Inouye’s death leads to a vacancy (he was slated to run for re-election in 2016) in the Senate but a time and place will come for that.  Inouye was a WWII veteran who lost his right arm as a result of the war and would go on to serve Hawaii since its statehood (first in Congress, then in the Senate).

According to his office, Inouye’s last word was “Aloha” according to his staff.

Inouye’s dedication to serving his nation and his state was extraordinary and he will be missed.  I send my best wishes to his family, friends and colleagues.