WASHINGTON (AP) - The goodbyes are beginning for Sen. Daniel Akaka, who will retire after 22 years in the U.S. Senate when the lame-duck session ends.
Akaka was the first Native Hawaiian in the Senate and chaired the Senate Indian Affairs Committee. He has held 43 hearings over two years as chairman, with his last one Thursday.
Fellow senators lauded the Hawaii Democrat for his work. The hearing focused on preserving native cultures and identities.
Akaka grew emotional before dropping the gavel for the last time.
Rather than goodbye, he said: "It is with much aloha that I say to you now, 'A hui hou,' see you again."