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Obama to Attend Inouye Funeral in Hawaii

Obama will attend the funeral service for the late Sen. Daniel Inouye (D-Hawaii) in Honolulu on Sunday.
By Rachel Hirshfeld
First Publish: 12/23/2012, 10:54 PM

U.S. Senator for Hawaii Daniel Inouye
U.S. Senator for Hawaii Daniel Inouye
Reuters

President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama will attend the funeral service for the late Sen. Daniel Inouye (D-Hawaii) in Honolulu on Sunday, the White House announced on Saturday.

Inouye, who passed away on Monday, will be buried Sunday morning at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific at Punchbowl Crater. Inouye was a nine-term senator, a World War II veteran who received the Medal of Honor, and great friend of the State of Israel.

Obama, who was born in Hawaii, called Inouye an "inspiration" in his speech at the memorial service held at Washington's National Cathedral on Friday.

“We remember a man who inspired all of use with his courage and moved us with his compassion, that inspired us with his integrity, and who taught so many of us, including a young boy growing up in Hawaii, that America has place for everyone,” Obama said.

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu issued a statement upon hearing of Inouye’s death saying, "Since the establishment of the State of Israel, our country has been blessed to have had the unwavering support of outstanding American leaders who were dedicated to strengthening the security of Israel and to deepening the unique and powerful alliance between Israel and the United States. But even among these leaders, the contributions of Senator Inouye stand out. His friendship to the Jewish people knew no bounds, and he worked tirelessly throughout his public life to safeguard the one and only Jewish state.”

Israel’s Ambassador to the United States Michael Oren was one of countless other Jewish and Israeli leaders to praise Inouye’s unwavering support for the Jewish state saying, “When he was still a soldier, recovering from the loss of an arm in combat, Senator Inouye learned about the Holocaust and began a lifelong attachment to the Jewish people and, later, to Israel. His dedication to Israel’s security was unswerving.”

The first family is in Hawaii for Christmas, with no other public events on their schedule. Obama arrived at the family's vacation resort in Kailua, on the east end of Oahu, early Saturday morning and plans to stay until Wednesday, according to reports.