(Washington, D.C.)—Congressman Faleomavaega today offered his personal condolences on the passing of Fofoga o Samoa Sen. Daniel K. Inouye of Hawaii. Sen. Inouye passed away peacefully on Dec. 17, 2012 at Walter Reed Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland.
“Today, we have a lost a father, a hero, and a true friend of American Samoa,” Faleomavaega said. “There is no doubt Senator Inouye was a strong advocate for the people of Hawaii but he was also instrumental in helping the people of American Samoa and all our Territories and neighbors in the Pacific.”
“I remember in early 1990 when, as a new Member of Congress, I was personally invited by the Senator to accompany him on a Congressional Delegation for a Pacific tour that included American Samoa. It was an honor and a privilege accompanying him on this trip because it showed me his deep understanding and care for all of the people in the Pacific. Just as he was a boy that was born and raised in a Territory (Hawaii), he felt it was the right thing to do to help our Territories. This was just a small sample of the Senator’s leadership and diligence in recognizing the importance of helping our Territories and the Freely Associated States.”
Faleomavaega noted “on the Hill, Fofoga o Samoa Senator Inouye was a giant.”
“He was greatly respected not only for his service as a Senator but also his patience and ability to work with both sides of the aisle. Being a Territory and having a small population, it is very difficult to move legislation without representation in the Senate, and Senator Inouye was always there for American Samoa. He was a fighter for the rights of Native Hawaiians and a pioneer for all Asian and Pacific Americans,” Faleomavaega said.
“As a proud former member of the 442nd 100th Battalion, I can only thank the Senator and his comrades for their service and ‘Go For Broke’ attitude which has laid the path for many of our own Samoan sons and daughters to serve in the greatest military force. We are forever grateful for the Senator’s service to our nation and for his love and compassion for the people of American Samoa.”
“The people of American Samoa join Hina and I in extending our deepest condolences the Senator’s wife, Irene, and the whole Inouye family. Our prayers and thoughts are with them as we mourn together the passing of a true hero,” Faleomavaega said.