Inouye spirit will live on

HONOLULU — U.S. Sen. Daniel Inouye’s legacy keeps on bearing fruit after his untimely death while in office last December. A new federal and state agreement will help to keep his legacy alive, but more importantly, accurate.

The Library of Congress, based in Washington, D.C., and the University of Hawaii at Manoa announced Monday the establishment of the Daniel K. Inouye Project to honor Inouye’s lifework.

The agreement will provide for the digital exchange of content from the Inouye Congressional Papers and collaboration on projects that promote public understanding of U.S. history and government, UH reported.

“Dan was a man of integrity and was on the front lines of many of our nation’s historical milestones — from World War II to Watergate to civil rights to Iran-Contra — and helped to shape our nation’s ever-evolving democracy.” said Irene Hirano Inouye, the wife of the late senator.

Hirano Inouye added that Inouye’s son, Ken Inouye, and she were “very pleased that through the Daniel K. Inouye Project, his spirit will live on, his values and lessons will live on, for the benefit of the American people.”

The key initiatives of the Daniel K. Inouye Project include establishing a dual digital access program for Inouye’s papers at UH Manoa and the Library of Congress; undertaking an oral history project; and working on a distinguished scholars initiative focusing on topics of national and international interest, according to UH.

“The Library of Congress doesn’t do this often, and we were very, very pleased that after several months of discussion, we were able to have this memorandum of understanding signing,” UH President M.R.C. Greenwood said.

Hirano Inouye said her husband would be “extremely pleased” that his work is being made available to an international audience, and this is the kind of partnership that he would have loved because it connects Hawaii to the nation’s capitol.

“His work spanned certainly work around the globe and many other countries are also interested in what his life had represented,” Hirano Inouye said.

To support the project, a $250,000 check from the Daniel K. Inouye Institute, a program fund of the Hawaii Community Foundation, was presented to UH Manoa Chancellor Tom Apple by Hirano Inouye, Ken Inouye and Hawaii Community Foundation President and CEO Kelvin Taketa.

The Daniel K. Inouye Institute is charged with supporting efforts to carry on the late Senator Inouye’s legacy of serving the public.

“The Inouye Congressional Papers represent one facet of Sen. Inouye’s life,” Apple said. “Other aspects are held within the memories of individuals who knew him and worked beside him.”

This oral history project, he said, will enable the capturing of these memories and, when added to the materials in the dual digital access program, will form the basis of a “living, growing tribute to Sen. Inouye.”

The third initiative of the Daniel K. Inouye Project will include working together on a distinguished scholars initiative focusing on topics of national and international interest.

Even though the late senator, war hero and second longest-serving member of the Senate was known for being against having his name stamped on buildings and other things, the list just keeps adding.

Earlier this year, the Kilauea Lighthouse changed its name to honor the late senator, and the Navy announced it will name a key destroyer after Inouye. Recently, UH announced the naming of four buildings — including Kauai Community College’s Electronics Technology building — to honor Inouye.

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