FORT SHAFTER, Hawaii (July 23, 2013) -- Secretary of the Army John McHugh and Gen. Vincent K. Brooks, U.S. Army Pacific commanding general, honored the late U.S. Senator Daniel K. Inouye, July 23, at a wreath-laying ceremony at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific on Honolulu, Hawaii.

At the time of his death in December 2012, Inouye was the second longest serving senator in U.S. history. After the attack on Pearl Harbor, Inouye enlisted in the Army and served with the famed 442nd Regimental Combat Team, comprised of Japanese Americans who fought the enemy overseas and prejudices at home.

Given a battlefield commission, Inouye displayed gallantry in combat leading his men despite being wounded several times including the loss of his right arm. Inouye was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross, but the award was upgraded decades later to the Medal of Honor.

Inouye's relationship to the U.S. Army continued through his entire life and he championed the cause to elevate U.S. Army Pacific to a four-star commander. McHugh said that the appointment of Brooks to be the four star commander of the United States Army Pacific "speaks very clearly as to our role in the international defense posture, our intent to be very forward-leaning in making the Army part of the future in this region."

"Really for us, it is a return to our roots," McHugh said. "It may not be evident to everyone, but the fact of the matter is the Army has for decades upon decades been a major presence in the Pacific. The last 12 years have caused us to focus in two theaters of conflict, but as those have begun to wind down in the last year, it allows us to get back to the things we've been doing very, very well for a very long time."