Some of the state and country’s foremost political figures gathered with more than 1,000 Hoosiers Wednesday to remember and praise the life of Richard Lugar.
Lugar was a six-term U.S. senator and former mayor of Indianapolis. He died last month at the age of 87.
Those who spoke at Lugar’s funeral lauded his many accomplishments. Former U.S. Sen. Sam Nunn (D-Ga.) famously partnered with Lugar to help dismantle thousands of nuclear warheads. Nunn hailed Lugar’s commitment to cooperation and compromise, which he says are too often misunderstood today.
“Some take it as meaning you give up your principles. Dick Lugar never, ever compromised his principles,” Nunn says.
Former Gov. Mitch Daniels – a longtime Lugar staffer – says he learned a lot of lessons from the Hoosier icon.
“He made a much better person out of me and I know I’m only one of many here who are thinking that right now,” Daniels says.
Lugar was the longest-serving Indiana senator, 36 years in office. And many, including Vice President Mike Pence, noted that Lugar was also a Rhodes Scholar and an Eagle Scout.
“There’s a Boy Scout rule that says you don’t leave a campsite as good as you found it, you leave it better than you found it,” Pence says. “Dick Lugar left Indiana, America and the world better than he found it.”
There were also moments that had the crowd at St. Luke’s United Methodist Church laughing, including from Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.).
“We’re talking about a man for whom a new argyle sweater qualified as ‘jazzing things up,’” McConnell says.
Lugar is survived by his wife, four sons, and several grandchildren.