Pence, McConnell eulogize Sen. Richard Lugar

Vice President Pence and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellSherrod Brown backs new North American trade deal: 'This will be the first trade agreement I've ever voted for' McConnell: Bevin pardons 'completely inappropriate' House panel to hold hearing, vote on Trump's new NAFTA proposal MORE (R-Ky.) joined other political figures in honoring the life of the late Sen. Richard Lugar (R-Ind.) at his memorial service Wednesday.

Pence and McConnell assembled with other former colleagues and contemporaries of Lugar to praise the former longtime Indiana senator's legacy of foreign policy work and constituent services.

“In my travels around the world as congressman and governor, I was always struck that right after I told people I was from Indiana, they would smile and say, ‘Dick Lugar,’” Pence said during his eulogy. “Sen. Richard Lugar commanded the admiration of our allies and the respect of our enemies like very few Americans.”


Pence, the former governor of Indiana, praised Lugar’s work in both the U.S. Senate and local politics in the Hoosier State, citing his work as mayor of Indianapolis from 1968 to 1976.

“Dick Lugar set in motion changes, like the adoption of Unigov, that literally transformed it into one of the most dynamic capital cities in the country, making it a vibrant center for sports games, conventions, and business,” Pence said, referring to Indianapolis.

Pence also praised Lugar’s work on foreign policy during his tenure as chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, including legislation he developed with Sen. Sam Nunn (D-Ga.) after the collapse of the Soviet Union to dismantle nuclear warheads.

McConnell praised Lugar’s dedication to his constituents, drawing laughs with an anecdote about Lugar making time to meet with the same woman twice and noticing she had been wearing the same dress on both occasions.

“That was Dick,” McConnell said. “People came first; he met everyone where they were.”

McConnell noted that Lugar would often be asked to preach a sermon on the campaign trail and that the late senator frequently preached on the Biblical story of Lazarus, who, according to the New Testament, Jesus raised from the dead. McConnell paralleled Lugar with stories about Lazarus going on to become a bishop.

“The recipient of this miraculous grace didn’t hole up in some monastery, he dove into public service,” McConnell said, adding, “Dick Lugar knew he’d been blessed” by his family and career, and “in every one of these cases he took the blessings that had been poured out on him and poured them back into others."

Pence, McConnell and Chief Justice John Roberts traveled together to the funeral on the vice president's aircraft, along with Sens. Patrick LeahyPatrick Joseph LeahyHorowitz offers troubling picture of FBI's Trump campaign probe Horowitz: 'We found no bias' in decision to open probe Horowitz: 'Very concerned' about FBI leaks to Giuliani MORE (D-Vt.), Susan CollinsSusan Margaret CollinsThe Hill's Morning Report — Sponsored by AdvaMed — House panel delays impeachment vote until Friday Senate gears up for battle over witnesses in impeachment trial McConnell: I doubt any GOP senator will vote to impeach Trump MORE (R-Maine), Lamar AlexanderAndrew (Lamar) Lamar AlexanderTrump scramble to rack up accomplishments gives conservatives heartburn Overnight Health Care — Presented by That's Medicaid — Turf war derails push on surprise medical bills | Bill would tax e-cigarettes to pay for anti-vaping campaign | .5M ad blitz backs vulnerable Dems on drug prices Turf war derails bipartisan push on surprise medical bills MORE (R-Tenn.), Johnny IsaksonJohnny IsaksonThe Hill's Morning Report - Sponsored by AdvaMed - House panel expected to approve impeachment articles Thursday Lankford to be named next Senate Ethics chairman The Hill's 12:30 Report: Job growth soars in November MORE (R-Ga.), Todd YoungTodd Christopher YoungGOP senators unveil bill to expand 'opportunity zone' reporting requirements Statesmen seek bipartisan solutions to big challenges The Hill's 12:30 Report: Trump says he is fighting testimony to protect presidency MORE (R-Ind.), Mike BraunMichael BraunRepublicans consider skipping witnesses in Trump impeachment trial College Republicans launch campaign calling for GOP to take action on climate change Senate braces for brawl on Trump impeachment rules MORE (R-Ind.), Nunn and Rep. Greg PenceGregory Joseph PenceTrump roasts Republicans at private fundraising event The Hill's Morning Report - Tempers boil over at the White House The Hill's Morning Report — After contentious week, Trump heads for Japan MORE (R-Ind.), the vice president's brother.

Lugar died April 28 at the age of 87 from complications from chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy, a rare neurological disorder. Funeral services were held at St. Luke's United Methodist Church in Indianapolis.

Tributes poured in upon his death last month, including from former President Obama, who awarded Lugar the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2013 and worked with him in the Senate to expand Lugar’s 1991 nuclear nonproliferation plan.