My friendship with Alaska Senator Ted Stevens was a very special one. When it came to policy, we disagreed more often than we agreed, but we were never disagreeable with each other. We were always positive and forthright. Senator Stevens and I worked together to ensure that the noncontiguous states of Hawaii and Alaska were not forgotten by the lower 48 and to ensure that the nation awoke to the importance of the Pacific to our economy and our international relations.
Ted Stevens was an extraordinary American. He risked his life as an airman in China, supporting the Flying Tigers in World War II. He served in the Senate from 1968 to 2008 the longest term of any Republican in history. He became a leader in the Senate, as chairman of the Defense Appropriations Sub-committee, chairman of the Commerce Committee, chairman of the Appropriations Committee and president pro tem.
He was my brother. I will never forget him.
Inouye is a Democratic U.S. Senator from Hawaii and the president pro tem of the Senate