Vice President Mike Pence honored Sen. Richard Lugar Wednesday in Indianapolis at St. Luke’s United Methodist Church with some focus on his foreign relations work.
The vice president listed some of Lugar’s life accomplishments, “Born in 1932 to Marvin and Bertha Lugar here in Indianapolis, he was a standout student. Eagle Scout. First in his class at Shortridge High. First at Denison University. A Rhodes Scholar.”
“While he was studying overseas in London, he ran right into the American embassy and enlisted into the United States Navy,” said the former Indiana governor. He said Lugar “adopted reforms like Unigov that literally transformed our capital city into the most — one of the most dynamic capital cities in America.” He added, “Perhaps the greatest monument to Dick’s leadership here in Indiana is the skyline of Indianapolis — that world-class city that he leaves behind.”
Pence recalled Lugar’s 36 years in the United States Senate, “He’ll be remembered among a pantheon of senators who commanded the respect of his peers in both parties, and who exercised enormous influence in foreign affairs.”
“A clarion voice for American leadership in the world,” he deemed the senator. He said the senator understood America as a heroic nation which had “a moral responsibility to foster the concepts of opportunity, free enterprise, the rule of law, and democracy. He would call it the ‘hope of the world.’”
Pence recalled Lugar’s support for him and his wife early in Pence’s political career. “Thirty years ago, when we were just getting started — a nervous young couple in politics — in was the senior senator from Indiana who went door to door with us in Wayne County,” said Pence. “And every time we ran the Capital Challenge, he was always there at the finish line to shake our hand.” The audience laughed as the vice president continued, “Never stopped running.”
“Few Hoosiers will ever leave as large or indelible a mark on our state or our nation as Richard Lugar,” said Pence.
The vice president’s remarks were filled with references to Lugar’s faith and the moments in the senator’s life that exemplified that faith.
“So Dick Lugar never stopped running throughout his long and industrious life. And that was good for us. But on this day, it can rightly be said that he fought the good fight, he finished the race, and he kept the faith,” said Pence. “And Indiana and America and the world are better for it.”