Editor’s note: Michael Zuckerman is a Harvard College graduate who works for the Boston Consulting Group in Washington. David Gergen is a senior political analyst for CNN and has been an adviser to four presidents. He is a professor of public service and director of the Center for Public Leadership at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government. Follow him on Twitter: @David_Gergen.
By Michael Zuckerman and David Gergen
(CNN) – As the nation continues to grieve for the six adults and 20 children taken too soon in the Newtown, Connecticut, school shooting, a hero from another generation has slipped peacefully into the pages of history.
There were many who knew Sen. Dan Inouye, a Democrat and Medal of Honor recipient from Hawaii who passed away Monday, better than we did. But we had the good fortune of sitting with him this past summer, interviewing him and hearing some of the remarkable stories from his life in America’s service. The portrait that emerged was that of a man of courage, character, and, perhaps above all, a singular spirit of peace and good will that was forged, paradoxically, amid some of the most horrendous carnage of the Second World War.
News: Hawaii’s Daniel Inouye, Senate’s second longest-serving member, dead at 88
Some of Inouye’s deeds – his valor serving on the German front in one of America’s most decorated (and heavily wounded) units, his Herculean political efforts on behalf of his home state – have been well remarked. What we were especially struck by was his quiet, sagelike humanity.