INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Time seemed to stand still as the hearse carrying Richard Lugar arrived at the St. Luke’s United Methodist Church on Wednesday afternoon.
His wife, four sons, grandchildren and relatives filed slowly inside with the honor guard behind them.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, a Kentucky Republican, remembered Lugar as a man that served others first.
“After all, this is a man who embodied Midwestern values and Hoosier humility. Gracious, generous, and polite. The consummate professional and gentleman.”
Volumes have been written of Lugar’s accomplishments at a U.S. senator and the mayor of Indianapolis, but his crowning legislative accomplishment was relatively early in his Senate career with Sam Nunn. The two men authored and championed passage of the Soviet Threat Reduction Act in November 1991.
Nunn said, “As a very young man, Dick achieved the rank of the Eagle Scout, as (Purdue University President and former Indiana governor) Mitch (Daniels) mentioned (earlier in the funeral). He (Lugar) lived the Scout law: trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous, kind, obedient, cheerful, thrift, brave, clean and revered.
“Dick Lugar was also smart as a whip. He was strategic and he was bold with a very high IQ.”
The church was filled with people touched in some way by Lugar. Daniels had served as Lugar’s chief of staff in Washington.
“Knowing Dick Lugar, I learned about the principles of a free society. I learned about how to make government work effectively. I learned about bringing people together, giving them a direction and a pursuit for a better life overall. But much more importantly, I learned about what a really good life looks like. I will never approach the standards he set,” Daniels said.
Lugar will be laid to rest in the Arlington National Cemetery.