Lugar welcomed home to Indiana
INDIANAPOLIS – During a solemn ceremony Tuesday at the Statehouse, Sen. Richard Lugar was welcomed back home to Indiana.
Lugar, the longest-serving U.S. Senator in Indiana history, died April 28 at the age of 87.
His funeral service will be Wednesday at St. Luke's United Methodist Church in Indianapolis, where Lugar was an elder.
Indiana citizens are invited to pay their final respects to Lugar in the rotunda of the Statehouse, where he lies in state, from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. Wednesday.
“It is an honor to welcome Sen. Lugar back home to Indiana,” Gov. Eric Holcomb said. “This is where it all began in the city he modernized and the state he loved all his life.”
Holcomb said Lugar, Indianapolis' mayor 1968-1976, led a long and fulfilling life of service with historic accomplishments.
“He made such a tremendous impact on our state, nation and the world,” Holcomb said. “He truly made Indiana a better place and the world much safer.”
Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett said Lugar belonged to Indiana. He said Lugar fought hate, calmed fears and didn’t tolerate violence.
“Sen. Lugar meant and means hope,” Hogsett said. “In his presence we felt his hope, love and integrity."
Former Anderson resident Marty Morris was Lugar’s chief of staff for 23 years, after starting as an intern with Lugar in 1978. Morris currently serves on the board of the Lugar Center.
“He was a careful study of the issues,” Morris said, adding that Lugar remained firm in his beliefs despite what others might say.
“We lost two giants,” Morris said of the recent deaths of Lugar and fellow former U.S. Sen. Birch Bayh, who died in March at the age of 91.
Pendleton resident Don Henderson worked on Lugar’s unsuccessful presidential campaign in 1996.
“I helped set it (Lugar's campaign announcement) up here in Indianapolis,” he said. “Then we took a tour bus load of people to Iowa and campaigned for him.
“Probably the most significant thing about him was he made everyone around him better,” Henderson added. "He was that kind of individual. He was very generous with his time.”
Henderson said Lugar would have made a great president but was an unsuccessful candidate because he wouldn’t attack anyone.
Beth Carney, a fourth-grade teacher at Pleasant View Elementary School in Zionsville, was at the Statehouse for an annual tour for her students.
“We planned this trip a year ago, and (later learned) that the Lugar ceremony was today," she said. "We did some research on Senator Lugar.”
Carney met Lugar when she was an eighth-grade student. On Tuesday, she noted the importance of his foreign policy leadership and his excellent work as the mayor of Indianapolis.
He had a "legacy of getting both sides together,” she said. “He was a statesman. The students know what a great man he was."
U.S. Rep. Susan Brooks of Indiana got to know Lugar well when she was deputy mayor of Indianapolis in the late 1990s.
“Regardless of (political) party, there is a bond among the people who served in the mayor’s office, and Mayor Lugar helped start that,” she said. “It was his vision of what this city (Indianapolis) could be.”
Lugar nominated Brooks to be a U.S. Attorney, and she was appointed by President George W. Bush.
“His office shepherded me through the process, which was right after 9/11,” she said. “We worked on a lot of things together to keep the country safe.”
Brooks called Lugar one of Indiana’s greatest statesmen and public servants.
“He was brilliant and tackled the hard issues in the world,” she said. “He cared deeply about people, issues of hunger and energy issues.”
Brooks said the Lugar Center carries on his legacy of bipartisanship.