SAN JOSE, Calif. (KGO) -- For 90 years, San Jose's Norm Mineta touched many lives. Whether it was at church, in the community or in the course of decades of government service, about 1,000 of them gathered today to share memories and to share the loss of someone they loved and respected.
A memorial service was held Friday morning at the San Jose Civic.
Mineta's four sons each shared what lessons he shared with them or special memories.
"I miss you Dad, and I love you so, so much," said son Stuart.
Mineta was also remembered for the influence he wielded in Washington that benefitted the Bay Area.
"He's literally brought tens of billions of dollars to California for transportation projects," said former State Sen. Jim Beall.
VIDEO: Former Pres. Bill Clinton speaks at Norm Mineta's memorial in San Jose
Mineta was credited for shaping policy and laws for those with special needs, such as advocating for better mobility for wheelchair access.
Mike Honda, who succeeded Mineta after 11 terms in Congress, cited curb cuts. "At San Jose Airport, there are curb cuts," Honda said. "On every corner, every intersection, there are curb cuts. Only because Norm took the time to sit in a wheelchair for a week."
President Clinton received a standing ovation when he took to the stage. He appointed Mineta his commerce secretary, making Mineta the first Asian American to the cabinet.
Mineta, a Democrat, was later appointed by President George Bush to be Transportation Secretary.
Clinton praised Mineta for putting aside bitterness after being sent to internment camp as a 10-year-old during World War II and instead focusing on public service.
"He made a choice," said Clinton. "And the choice that he made to be the author of his own life... to be a builder, not a breaker, to be a uniter, not a divider, to empower others, not to use others to get more power for himself."
In this time of divisive politics, Clinton said Mineta set an example what this country needs today. "Norm Mineta was right, and we need to follow him right to the very end."
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