WASHINGTON - President Barack Obama says the late Democratic Sen. Daniel Inouye showed him "what might be possible in my own life."
In a memorial service at the National Cathedral, Obama recalled a boyhood memory of watching Inouye, the first Japanese-American to serve in Congress, during hearings in the 1970s on the Watergate scandal that brought down President Richard Nixon. He said the experience left him with a sense of what serving in government was all about. He said he had watched a man full of "grace and dignity."
The president said Friday: "Danny Inouye was perhaps my earliest political inspiration."
Other political leaders hailed Inouye for his career, spirit and selflessness.
Vice-President Joe Biden said: "When people talked about loving Danny, they meant it."
The Hawaii lawmaker was the second-longest serving senator in U.S. history. The wounded World War II veteran died Monday of respiratory complications at age 88.
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