By BRIAN A. HOWEY

INDIANAPOLIS - The late Sen. Richard G. Lugar is now lying in state in the heart of Indiana.

Gov. Eric Holcomb and Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett greeted the late senator at mid-day Tuesday as a military honor guard brought his casket into the Statehouse rotunda. "He made such a tremendous impact on our state, nation on the world during his time on earth," Holcomb said. "He truly made Indiana a better state and the world safer. He never lost that constant and welcoming smile."

Like many Hoosiers, Holcomb traces the origins of his own political career to Lugar, who introduced him to Mitch Daniels years ago. Holcomb would end up as Gov. Daniels' deputy chief of staff, ran his reelection campaign in 2008, then became chairman of the Indiana Republican Party before becoming lieutenant governor, and then governor in 2017. 

"My life has never been the same," Holcomb said. "These personal stories that we tell and retell by people from all walks, and you know we will keep telling them. It's our job to carry that forward." Holcomb said that Lugar lived his life with "distinction" from boyhood as an Eagle Scout, then Rhodes Scholar, to the U.S. Navy, and then through his term on the Indianapolis School Board, two terms as mayor and a record 36 years in the U.S. Senate.

"Welcome home, Sen. Lugar, welcome home," Holcomb said before laying a wreath along with Mayor Hogsett as dozens of former Lugar family members, staffers, state office holders, political allies, citizens and the news media looked on.

Hogsett said, "Richard Lugar belonged to his family, a family that graciously gave of themselves and giving so much of him to so many of us. He also belonged to Indianapolis, the city he made full. He belonged to Indiana, the state he made proud. And for most of his life, Sen. Lugar belonged to us, too, in a special way."

"He calmed fear, he did not try to use it. He extinguished violence, he did not continence it. Richard Lugar brought more peace to a dangerous world," Hogsett said. "He belongs to the ages."

Hoosiers can pay tribute to Lugar until sunset tonight, and from 8 to 11 a.m. Wednesday. Lugar's funeral service is scheduled for 1 p.m. Wednesday at St. Luke's United Methodist Church in Indianapolis. Vice President Mike Pence, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and former senator Sam Nunn are expected to eulogize Lugar, who died at age 87 earlier this month. Lugar will be laid to rest in Arlington National Cemetery.