Remarks delivered by Gov. Mike Pence at the funeral of Indianapolis police Officer Perry Renn, as distributed by Pence's office:
To Lynn, Phyllis, David and Tina, Sherri — family members, to Mayor Ballard, Chief Hite, and all the members of the law enforcement family of this good and decent man, it is a high honor on behalf of all the people in Indiana, for me to speak to you today. It is said, “there is a time for every purpose under heaven, a time to laugh and a time to mourn.” And it is my solemn duty to say that this is a time for all of Indiana to mourn. To mourn the passing of a husband, a son, a brother, a soldier, a police officer and a friend. It has been a week of heartbreak all across our state.
And here in Indiana, we mourn with those who mourn. We grieve with those who grieve. But we do not grieve like the rest who have no hope, for we have our faith, we have our families, and heroes give us hope. And Officer Perry Renn was a hero. Officer Renn was a hero for the courage he showed that night in squaring his shoulders against deadly force to protect the community that he loved. Officer Renn died a hero, but more importantly, he lived a hero. He was a hero in thousands of ways. Large and small. And recounted to people in one report after another in the course of the past week. And the people of this state will always remember him as a man of courage and selflessness.
Throughout his life, whether it was in donning the uniform of the United States as a member of the 82nd Airborne Division, or in volunteering to serve in the thin blue line nearly 22 years ago with the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department, Perry Renn showed his bravery throughout his life.
Whether it was in disarming a mentally unstable man intent on taking his own life, or running into the still-collapsing stage at the Indiana State Fair without regard for his own safety, Perry Renn by all accounts made a habit of putting the safety and security of others ahead of his own. But heroes are not simply defined in moments of crisis, they are also defined in moments of quiet, selfless dedication that often go unnoticed and unheralded, but by a few. Like a police officer who waits outside a shopkeeper’s store at night, just to make sure she makes it home safe. Or a neighbor who drops everything to build a ramp for a neighbor returning home from surgery.
Perry Renn, by all accounts, by those who knew him best, was always there to lend a hand to a neighbor in need. Whether it was running a snow blower on a neighbor’s driveway, or taking in their trash. As one neighbor said so eloquently, “He was just a very caring individual. Something you don’t see very often in the world anymore.” So we come together to mourn a husband, a son, a brother, a neighbor, a soldier, a police officer and a friend, but we also come to pay a debt — to pay a debt of honor and debt of gratitude for the life of a true public servant.
But we can never fully repay our debt to Officer Renn, for the service that he gave to this city, to this state, and to this nation. But we can honor him and his family, not simply by remembering, but also as he might wish, by rededicating ourselves to the cause for which he died — to protect and serve and by standing with renewed energy behind all of you, who each and every day risk all for our families all across this state and across this nation.
And this we will do.
So to those who remember Officer Renn, and cherish him as a husband, a family member, a comrade and a friend, we cannot ease your pain. We can only stand with you and pray that the Lord himself might be a special comfort to each of you. It is said that the Lord is close to the broken-hearted, and that will be our prayer for you.
So, to Lynn, to Mom, to Dad and Tina, to Sherri, his fellow officers and friends, on behalf of a grateful state, I offer our deepest and sincerest condolences and fervent prayer that those of you who knew and loved this kind and courageous man, might find comfort in your faith, in each other, and an absolute assurance that Indiana will never forget the life and work of Officer Perry Renn. May his memory ever comfort, and may it ever inspire, and may Officer Perry Renn rest in peace.