have come together today to honor Rob Hardesty:
the Rob Hardesty you have known over many
years and whom I have come to know over the
past two weeks.
I have come to know Rob Hardesty by learning
about his life--for his is a life story of
service. Service to his family. Service to
the Porter County Sheriff’s Office.
Service to the FBI. Service to his country.
Service to his Lord.
I also came to know Rob Hardesty personally;
but only for a few moments. It was a day or
so after the accident. Rob was in bed and
unable to move. I told him he had one of the
best Marine Corps haircuts I had seen in a
while. And his entire face lit up. He smiled.
And that smile gave me a glimpse of his vitality,
his passion. I learned from that smile what
all of you know so well.
I also came to understand Rob through his
family, who I have come to know and respect
over the last two weeks. You can learn a great
deal about a person from knowing his family,
and particularly the person he chooses to
marry. Hardened, grizzled veterans of the
FBI--veterans of HRT, SWAT--stand in awe of
Toni--stand in awe of her strength and the
strength of Rob’s family.
In a very short time I came to know Rob Hardesty--know
him as an FBI agent; know him as a husband
and father; and know him as a servant.
We look up to persons such as Rob, whose life
work is service. We hold them up as examples.
They earn our deepest admiration and respect
because of the actions they purposefully take…in
the name of service.
They are the ones who say, yes, I am ready
without knowing when. Who say, yes, I will
go, without knowing where. Who say, yes, I
do, without always knowing why.
It is the rare quality of those who go forward
without looking back and without asking what
price, who show us the true meaning of courage,
of devotion, and of sacrifice. It is the legacy
Rob leaves us that his was
a life lived to the full measure of those
We thank God for holding Robert Hardesty in
His hands and we ask Him to look after Rob
with great care, for he was truly the very
best of the best. Each of us will carry Rob
in our hearts, until that time when we meet
again and come to be close to him once more.
May God bless you, and may God bless Rob Hardesty.