Rep. Chu’s Statement on the Passing of Senator Daniel K. Akaka
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus (CAPAC) Chair Rep. Judy Chu (CA-27) released the following statement on the passing of U.S. Senator Daniel K. Akaka. Senator Akaka was the first Native Hawaiian ever elected to the U.S. Senate and retired in 2012 after serving a total of 36 years in the U.S. Congress. He passed away in Hawaii earlier this morning at the age of 93.
“I am deeply saddened by the passing of my former colleague, Senator Daniel K. Akaka. As the first Native Hawaiian elected to the U.S. Senate and a founding member of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus, he was a tremendous leader for both the people of Hawaii and the broader Asian American, Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander community.
“Throughout his 36 years in Congress, he fought tirelessly to secure funding and parity for the Native Hawaiian people and successfully passed an apology resolution to acknowledge the U.S. government’s role in the illegal overthrow of the Kingdom of Hawaii. As a World War II veteran, he also cared deeply about our nation’s military service members and veterans. During his tenure as chairman of the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee, he led notable efforts to secure benefits for Filipino veterans who served alongside American forces during World War II as well as Vietnam War veterans exposed to Agent Orange.
“His legacy of aloha will be remembered not only in the loving family he leaves behind, but also in his lifelong service to his beloved home state of Hawaii and the American people. My thoughts are with his wife, Millie, his family, and the people of Hawaii during this difficult time.”