(INDIANAPOLIS) – A day after Richard Lugar’s death, state and city leaders are paying tribute to the former senator and Indianapolis mayor.
Governor Holcomb and Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett led the brief ceremony at the corner of Richard G. Lugar Plaza, the redesigned south entry to the City-County Building dedicated to Lugar last year. It was one of Lugar’s last public appearances, and Hogsett says the day was a reminder of how much can be accomplished through the combination of “vision, leadership, and a deep love of this place we call home.”
Council president Vop Osili says Lugar’s work on foreign affairs and nuclear disarmament allowed Hoosiers to sleep without the fear of nuclear annihilation. But most of the ceremony focused not on Lugar the senator and statesman, but Lugar the mayor and human being. Hogsett and Holcomb both credit the two-term mayor with laying the foundation for the transformation of Indianapolis. Holcomb says Lugar’s consistent pursuit of excellence was the “Big Bang” which began a 50-year cycle of setting expectations progressively higher, not just for the city, but for the entire state.
The mayor and governor both say Lugar’s public service was shaped by his commitment to unity, patriotism and integrity, and a commitment to the belief that tough problems require bringing people together to debate their ideas, not attacking them personally.
In a show of bipartisan symbolism, Osili and Council Minority Leader Michael McQuillen laid a bouquet together at the plaza entrance, followed by Hogsett and Holcomb joining in laying a wreath.
Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett (left) and Gov. Eric Holcomb lay a wreath in honor of former Sen. Richard Lugar (Photo: Abdul-Hakim Shabazz/WIBC)