It was a quiet, unassuming memorial for a quiet, unassuming senator.
Friends from both sides of the aisle stood shoulder-to-shoulder Thursday in the Capitol Rotunda to remember the late senator Daniel K. Inouye (D-Hawaii), who became the first Asian-American afforded the honor of lying in state at the revered spot.
The Rotunda ceremony for the senator, who died Monday at age 88, placed him on a list that includes presidents, lawmakers and generals, two slain U.S. Capitol Police officers and civil rights icon Rosa Parks. Like most of them, Inouye rested on a catafalque constructed for the President Lincoln’s 1865 memorial service.
“Dan Inouye was an institution and deserves to spend at least another day in this beautiful building,” Senate Majority Leader Harry M. Reid (D-Nev.) said during the ceremony.
Reid called his colleague a “soft and powerful voice for the people of Hawaii” who “was a vibrant and vital presence in the Senate, and in death he will remain a legend.”