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Daniel Inouye Gets Cornered on the National Mall (Video)

(Warren Rojas/CQ Roll Call)

The National Museum of the American Indian  is paying tribute to the late Sen. Daniel K. Inouye, a proud Pacific Islander who served as one of the founding directors for the interactive exhibition hall, as part of its “Living Aloha” festival.  

Just don’t expect too big of a production if you visit.  

Upon entering the funky, four-story structure, patrons are handed a snazzy brochure retracing the steps of the iconic Hawaii Democrat through the years.  

(Warren Rojas/CQ Roll Call)

(Warren Rojas/CQ Roll Call)

The lobby, however, is dominated by a ring of arts and crafts stations dedicated to sharing native art forms with curious onlookers.

And the main stage was, at least on Friday, reserved for hula dancing, legend-spewing Moses Goods, of the Bernice Pauahi Bishop Museum in Honolulu, Hawaii.  

Surely the Inouye love has to be around here somewhere, right?  

For God’s sake, the World War II veteran, long-standing lawmaker and Asian-American role model spent more than half a century on Capitol Hill; several decades were occupied by stints on the Indian Affairs Committee and influential Appropriations panel.  

Per the accompanying placard, Inouye’s widow, Irene Hirano Inouye, donated the one-of-a-kind keepsakes (“only a small fraction of what Sen. Inouye received from grateful tribal nations”) in order to provide a peek into the lasting effects of a lifetime dedicated to public service.  

(Warren Rojas/CQ Roll Call)

(Warren Rojas/CQ Roll Call)

Hence the reason the museum elected to carve out some space to showcase a few of the cultural treasures — six, to be exact — the powerful pol amassed throughout his epic career.  

(Warren Rojas/CQ Roll Call)

(Warren Rojas/CQ Roll Call)

That legacy has been relegated to two display cases.  

(Warren Rojas/CQ Roll Call)

(Warren Rojas/CQ Roll Call)

Then again, the Spartan showcase does occupy some choice real estate: directly opposite the award-winning Mitsitam Café .