WASHINGTON (AP) â?? Recovering from war wounds that left him with one arm, Danny Inouye wanted a cigarette and needed a light.
The nurse at the Army hospital in Michigan threw a pack of matches on his chest. He wanted to curse her. Instead, she taught him how to light it one-handed.
“Then she said, ‘I’m not going to be around here for the rest of your life. You’ll have to learn how to light your own matches, cut your own meat, dress yourself and do everything else. So from now on you’re going to be learning,'” Inouye recalled decades later.
From that moment on it seemed like nothing would stop a determined Daniel K. Inouye, who died Monday after a uniquely American life defined by heroism in war and decades of service in the Senate â?? and a lifelong love of Hawaii symbolized by his last utterance.
Inouye, who broke racial barriers on Capitol Hill and played key roles in congressional investigations of the Watergate and Iran-Contra scandals, was 88.