Paul Greenberg

"Second Lieutenant Daniel K. Inouye distinguished himself by extraordinary heroism in action on 21 April 1945, in the vicinity of San Terenzo, Italy. While attacking a defended ridge guarding an important road junction, Second Lieutenant Inouye skillfully directed his platoon through a hail of automatic weapon and small arms fire, in a swift enveloping movement that resulted in the capture of an artillery and mortar post and brought his men to within 40 yards of the hostile force. Emplaced in bunkers and rock formations, the enemy halted the advance with crossfire from three machine guns.

"With complete disregard for his personal safety, Second Lieutenant Inouye crawled up the treacherous slope to within five yards of the nearest machine gun and hurled two grenades, destroying the emplacement. Before the enemy could retaliate, he stood up and neutralized a second machine gun nest. Although wounded by a sniper's bullet, he continued to engage other hostile positions at close range until an exploding grenade shattered his right arm. Despite the intense pain, he refused evacuation and continued to direct his platoon until enemy resistance was broken and his men were again deployed in defensive positions. In the attack, 25 enemy soldiers were killed and eight others captured. By his gallant, aggressive tactics and by his indomitable leadership, Second Lieutenant Inouye enabled his platoon to advance through formidable resistance, and was instrumental in the capture of the ridge."

--Medal of Honor citation

"Daniel Inouye's career in the United States Senate was as distinguished as it was extensive. He helped steer this nation through triumphs and tragedies, victories and defeats. And he towered above us all with his incredible gallantry and heroism in the Second World War. His passing leaves a long shadow in Congress."

--Chairman Howard McKeon of the House Armed Services Committee

It may not be easy to credit now, but once upon a time the United States Senate could be seriously described as "the world's greatest deliberative body."

The phrase applied to more than the early 19th century, which is when the great triumvirate of Webster, Clay and Calhoun dominated the Senate's deliberations and made it an Athenian forum. They lacked only one quality -- a proper appreciation for the obdurate power of a moral issue. In their case, and especially John C. Calhoun's, it was their failure to apprehend and fully engage the unavoidable, the inescapable, the intractable issue of human slavery.

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Paul Greenberg

Pulitzer Prize-winning Paul Greenberg, one of the most respected and honored commentators in America, is the editorial page editor of the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette.