Sen. Daniel Inouye

BY U.S. SEN. DANIEL K. INOUYE – On the morning of December 7, 1941, I was preparing to attend church with my family when the trajectory of my life was forever changed by Imperial Japan’s decision to attack Pearl Harbor.

I was in my bedroom of my family’s home in Moilili listening to the radio when the announcer broke in to frantically report that the Japanese were bombing Pearl Harbor.

I ran outside with my father and remember clearly the drone of the airplane engines overhead. We looked up to see the blazing red suns on each wing and we knew that as Japanese Americans, our lives would never be the same.

The events of the morning of December 7 began an arduous period of my life, one that taught me to be brave, to persevere and how to deal with the staggering loss of friends killed in combat.

As we mark the 69th anniversary of that tragic morning, let us honor the thousands who lost their lives by dedicating our actions to ensuring that we leave this world a peaceful place.


U.S. Senator Daniel Inouye, D-HI, is a World War II veteran and Medal of Honor recipient. After 50 years in office, he heads the Senate Appropriations Committee.

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