(WASHINGTON) — The Daniel K. Inouye Institute honored Sen. Jack Reed, D-R.I., on Wednesday for his long-standing support of the American maritime industry. Joined by dozens of maritime and Senate leaders, Reed received the Daniel K. Inouye Maritime Guardian Award.
Irene Hirano Inouye, widow of Sen. Inouye, presented the award to Reed, whose state ranks fourth per capita among all U.S. states for maritime jobs. Reed is the ranking member of both the Senate Armed Services Committee and the Senate Transportation Appropriations Subcommittee, where he has consistently supported programs important to the maritime industry. In 2016, Reed led the effort to restore federal funding for the Small Shipyard Grant Program which helps shipyards purchase needed equipment, improve efficiency, and train a skilled work force for commercial shipyards while also supporting the military shipyard industrial base.
“We are honored to take this presentation to Sen. Reed who steadfastly carries forward the high priority Sen. Inouye placed on a strong U.S. maritime industry, which steps forward in service when called upon by our nation in times of crisis or conflict,” said Jennifer Sabas, director of the Daniel K. Inouye Institute.
“I am deeply honored to receive this award and grateful to Irene and the Inouye Institute. Sen. Inouye was and continues to be an inspiration. He fought and served with great courage, integrity, and patriotism. To this day, his outstanding work on both the Appropriations and Commerce committees continue to benefit Rhode Island’s maritime industry and our economy. We in the Ocean State are proud of our maritime heritage, and from tourism to commerce to transportation, marine-related businesses are an important part of our economic future. I am proud to support the hard-working men and women of the marine trades and I humbly accept this prestigious award on their behalf,” said Reed.
“Dan was widely respected for his leadership and respected voice dedicated to a vibrant and robust American maritime industry,” said Irene Hirano Inouye. “It is with pride in my husband’s memory that I am pleased to honor Sen. Reed with this year’s award for his exemplary leadership in support of the vital maritime industry.”
Prior to his death, Sen. Inouye had a distinguished tenure of more than 49 years of serving Hawaii in the U.S., the longest serving member to date. As president pro tempore of the Senate from 2010-2012 — third in line of presidential succession — Sen. Inouye was the highest-ranking public official of Asian descent in United States history. For his heroic actions as a member of the famed 442nd Regimental Combat Team — resulting in the loss of his right arm — the World War II veteran ultimately earned the nation’s highest award for military valor, the Medal of Honor.
James Henry, chairman and president of the Transportation Institute, said, “Sen. Reed’s support for the American Merchant Marine, which is crucial to our ability to project military forces around the world, is well-known and deeply appreciated. He is a very worthy recipient of this award.”
Thomas Allegretti, chairman of the American Maritime Partnership, called Reed “a champion of our industry and a worthy recipient of this award named in honor of Sen. Inouye, a great American leader.”