Chicago, December 18, 2012
As the nation mourns the passing of United States Senator Daniel Inouye (D-Hawaii), Easter Seals, the nation’s leading nonprofit provider of disability services, recalls a lifetime of service and leadership on behalf of millions of people living with disabilities and our nation’s veterans and their families.
“From his days in the Army nearly seven decades ago, when he won the Congressional Medal of Honor in 2002, the nation’s highest military award, to his 53 years in Congress representing Hawaii, Senator Inouye always personified selflessness and leadership,” says James E. Williams, Jr., president and chief executive officer, Easter Seals. “He was a true statesman, modeling the path set by his parents – a path of service based on quiet lives of hard work and integrity. He will be deeply missed.”
Senator Inouye long championed the cause of justice and equality for all Americans, including people living with disabilities and other special needs. He contributed to the passage of major legislation that ensures people with disabilities can live, learn, work and play in their communities, including the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act of 1975, the Fair Housing Amendments Act of 1988 and countless other civil rights laws for people with disabilities.
As Chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee, Senator Inouye directed our nation’s resources to investments in children and adults with disabilities and their families, paying special attention to the needs of military service members, veterans and wounded warriors.
Easter Seals Serving DC, MD and VA honored Senator Inouye with its 2011 Advocacy Award. In a very poignant acceptance speech during that awards dinner, Senator Inouye humanized how difficult the experience is for military families when their loved ones leave for combat.
Senator Inouye was awarded a Congressional Medal of Honor in 2002 for his service in World War II. At his death, Senator Inouye was chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee and President pro tempore of the United States Senate.