Washington-- President Barack Obama says the late Democratic Sen. Daniel Inouye showed him "what might be possible in my own life."
In a memorial service at the National Cathedral, Obama recalled a boyhood memory of watching Inouye during the Watergate hearings. He said the experience left him with a sense of what serving in government was all about. He said he had watched a man full of "grace and dignity."
The president said, quote, "Danny Inouye was perhaps my earliest political inspiration."
Other political leaders hailed Inouye for his career, spirit and selflessness.
Vice President Joe Biden said, quote: "When people talked about loving Danny, they meant it."
The Hawaii lawmaker was the second-longest serving senator in U.S. history. He died Monday of respiratory complications at age 88.