Politicians from both sides of the aisle came together Sunday to praise former Indiana Senator Richard Lugar, who passed away this weekend at the age of 87.
Lugar, who served six terms in the Senate, was renowned for his willingness to work with members of both parties, and that’s how many of his colleagues chose to remember him.
Former President Barack Obama, who served in the Senate with Lugar for four years, travelled overseas with the statesman early in his term, and praised the former senator’s dedication to the truth and to decency.
“For 36 years, Richard Lugar proved that pragmatism and decency work – not only in Washington but all over the world,” Obama said in a statement. “We held different political beliefs, but traveling overseas together, he took me under his wing as we toured munitions storage facilities and talked over meals of borscht. Dick always stuck to the facts, he exhibited the truth that common courtesy can speak across cultures.
“His passing is a reminder of the constant and pressing need to expand international non-proliferation agreements. And it’s a call to remember what a public servant can be,” he added.
Indiana Senator Todd Young, who was elected to the Senate in 2016, praised Lugar as a “dignified statesman” who used his civility and bipartisanship to succeed in Washington.
“As a boss, a mentor, and a person, Richard Lugar was the gold standard,” he said. “He leaves a legacy as an exemplar of wisdom, civility, and bipartisanship. He set the bar for public leaders. I’m not sure we will ever see another Richard Lugar, but I pray that we do.”
South Bend Mayor, and current presidential candidate, Pete Buttigieg issued a statement thanking Lugar for his willingness to take young politicians under his wing.
“A great mayor, senator, and mentor, he made the world safer, stood up for better foreign policy, and knew how to work across the aisle,” he said. “He was never too important to make time for a young Hoosier public servant of either party.”
Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb ordered that flags in the state be lowered to half-staff, and called Lugar a “faithful servant” who adhered to the highest of standards.
“The world weeps alongside Indiana after just learning we lost one of our best, ever,” he said. “As an always faithful servant to the highest ideals in every walk of his incredible life, Richard Lugar ran the family farm, charted a new innovative course for Indiana’s capital city, and devoted a record six terms as a U.S. Senator to making the world a more prosperous and peaceful place.”
Funeral arrangements for Lugar are pending.