Hundreds attend funeral for former Sen. Richard Lugar

The Indianapolis Children's Choir sings at funeral services for Sen. Richard Lugar, R-Ind., at St. Luke's United Methodist Church in Indianapolis, Wednesday, May 15, 2019. (WTHR Photo/Evan Hoffmeyer)
Paying Tribute to Senator Lugar
Remembering Richard Lugar
Paying tribute to Sen. Lugar
Richard Lugar funeral
Final chance to pay Lugar respects
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INDIANAPOLIS (WTHR) — Leaders from across the country, including Vice President Mike Pence gathered in Indianapolis Wednesday to say goodbye to Richard Lugar.

The former Indiana senator passed away late last month.

The funeral of Richard Lugar could have been held anywhere. Some thought a sports venue, but the family wanted it to take place in the church that he helped found.

He was remembered as a leader.

"He made the world a better place and a safer place," Former Senator Sam Nunn, the other half of the Nunn-Lugar Act stated.


In fact, VP Mike Pence even revealed that his expertise in foreign relations was valued by the president who requested a private meeting with him and Nunn before his first summit with the president of North Korea.

"Long after he left the Senate he continued to be called upon for council. In fact, just last year President Trump had Lugar and Nunn to the oval office to seek their council before he departed for his first historic summit with North Korea," the Vice President shared.

Mitch McConnell remembers asking for his guidance when he wanted to run for office.

"After all this is a man who exhibited Midwestern values and Hoosier humility. Gracious, generous and polite. The consummate professional and gentleman," he remembered but he added a funny comment. "We are talking about a man wearing a new argyle sweater was jazzing things up for the Presidential run in 1996," which brought laughter from those in attendance.

But it was a former employee.


"He always, always tried to do the right thing and if you were around him it had to rub off just a little," said Purdue President Mitch Daniels, his voice quivering.

"He made a much better person out of me and I know I am only one of many here who are thinking that right now," the former Indiana Governor observed.

Lugar was mayor of Indianapolis before beginning a 36-year Senate career with his first election victory in 1976. He left the Senate following a 2012 Republican primary loss and died April 28 at age 87.

President Barack Obama awarded Lugar the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2013.

This 1976 file photo shows former mayor Richard Lugar, R-Indianapolis, as he campaigns for U.S. Senate. (photo courtesy University of Indianapolis Institute for Civic Leadership & Mayoral Archives)
This undated file photo shows Mayor Richard Lugar, R-Indianapolis, working in his office. (photo courtesy University of Indianapolis Institute for Civic Leadership & Mayoral Archives)
Former Indiana Republican Sen. Richard Lugar speaks during a ceremony to present him with an insignia of the Knight Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire at the British Embassy in D.C., April 16, 2013. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)
An honor guard escorts the body of Sen. Richard Lugar, R-Ind., to lie-in-state in the rotunda of the Statehouse in Indianapolis, May 14, 2019. (WTHR Photo/Evan Hoffmeyer)
Sen. Richard Lugar lies-in-state in the rotunda of the Statehouse in Indianapolis, May 14, 2019. (WTHR Photo/Evan Hoffmeyer)
Charlene Lugar, widow of Sen. Richard Lugar, arrives for a brief ceremony at the Statehouse in Indianapolis honoring his life, May 14, 2019. (WTHR Photo/Evan Hoffmeyer)
Family members look on as Sen. Richard Lugar's body was brought to lie-in-state at the Statehouse in Indianapolis, May 14, 2019. (WTHR Photo/Evan Hoffmeyer)
Gov. Eric Holcomb, R-Ind., speaks as Sen. Richard Lugar's body arrives to lie-in-state at the Statehouse in Indianapolis, May 14, 2019. (WTHR Photo/Evan Hoffmeyer)
Mayor Joe Hogsett, D-Indianapolis, holds his hand over his heart honoring Sen. Richard Lugar as he was brought to lie-in-state at the Statehouse in Indianapolis, May 14, 2019. (WTHR Photo/Evan Hoffmeyer)
A portrait of Sen. Richard Lugar, R-Ind., hangs next to a case at the Statehouse in Indianapolis containing memorabilia from his life as the senator lies-in-state, May 14, 2019. (WTHR Photo/Evan Hoffmeyer)
Sen. Richard Lugar lies-in-state in the rotunda of the Statehouse in Indianapolis, May 14, 2019. (WTHR Photo/Evan Hoffmeyer)
Well-wishers wait in line to speak with the family of Sen. Richard Lugar as he lies-in-state in the rotunda of the Statehouse in Indianapolis, May 14, 2019. (WTHR Photo/Evan Hoffmeyer)
A quote from Sen. Richard Lugar hangs at the Statehouse in Indianapolis as the senator lies-in-state in the rotunda nearby, May 14, 2019. (WTHR Photo/Evan Hoffmeyer)
A case at the Statehouse in Indianapolis containing memorabilia from the life of Sen. Richard Lugar, R-Ind., as the senator lies-in-state in the rotunda nearby, May 14, 2019. (WTHR Photo/Evan Hoffmeyer)
Rep. Susan Brooks, R-Ind., talks with fellow well-wishers after a service honoring the life of Sen. Richard Lugar, R-Ind., at the Statehouse in Indianapolis, May 14, 2019. (WTHR Photo/Evan Hoffmeyer)
The Indianapolis Children's Choir rehearses before performing at Sen. Richard Lugar's public funeral service at St. Luke's United Methodist Church in Indianapolis, May 15, 2019. (WTHR Photo/Evan Hoffmeyer)
Sen. Richard Lugar's family walks into St. Luke's United Methodist Church in Indianapolis for his public funeral service Wednesday, May 11, 2019. (WTHR Photo/Evan Hoffmeyer)
An Honor Guard escorts the body of Sen. Richard Lugar into his public funeral service at St. Luke's United Methodist Church in Indianapolis, May 15, 2019. (WTHR Photo/Evan Hoffmeyer)
More than 1,000 people gathered to celebrate the life of Sen. Richard Lugar, R-Ind., at St. Luke's United Methodist Church in Indianapolis, May 15, 2019. (WTHR Photo/Evan Hoffmeyer)
The Indianapolis Children's Choir sings at funeral services for Sen. Richard Lugar, R-Ind., at St. Luke's United Methodist Church in Indianapolis, Wednesday, May 15, 2019. (WTHR Photo/Evan Hoffmeyer)
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell speaks during a funeral service for Sen. Richard Lugar, Wednesday, May 15, 2019, in Indianapolis. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)
Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., speaks at the public funeral service for Sen. Richard Lugar, R-Ind., at St. Luke's United Methodist Church in Indianapolis, May 15, 2019. (WTHR Photo/Evan Hoffmeyer)
Former Sen. Sam Nunn speaks during a funeral service for Sen. Richard Lugar, Wednesday, May 15, 2019, in Indianapolis. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)
Vice President Mike Pence speaks during a funeral service for Sen. Richard Lugar, Wednesday, May 15, 2019, in Indianapolis. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)
Former Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels, president of Purdue University, speaks during a funeral service for Sen. Richard Lugar, Wednesday, May 15, 2019, in Indianapolis. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)
Sen. Richard Lugar's sons, Mark, Bob, John and David, spoke at his public funeral service at St. Luke's United Methodist Church in Indianapolis, May 15, 2019. (WTHR Photo/Evan Hoffmeyer)
Dignitaries including both of Indiana's current U.S. Senators, Todd Young and Mike Braun, attended public funeral services for former Sen. Richard Lugar at St. Luke's United Methodist Church in Indianapolis, May 15, 2019. (WTHR Photo/Evan Hoffmeyer)
More than 1,000 people attended the public funeral service for Sen. Richard Lugar at St. Luke's United Methodist Church in Indianapolis, May 15, 2019. (WTHR Photo/Evan Hoffmeyer)
Birch Bayh, the Democratic senior senator from Indiana, greets and Richard Lugar, the Republican junior senator from Indiana, before a committee meeting at the Capitol building in Washington in 1978. (photo courtesy Susan Fleck via TheStatehouseFile.com)
Sen. Richard Lugar, R-Ind., left, and Sen. Birch Bayh, D-Ind., take a moment to plan strategy prior to hearings on Billy Carter’s relationship with the government of Libya on Capital Hill in Washington, Wednesday, August 21, 1980. (AP Photo/Harrity)
Former GOP Senator Richard Lugar introduces Secretary of State John Kerry for a speech in support of the Iran nuclear deal at the National Constitution Center, Wednesday, Sept. 2, 2015, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

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