Former secretary of state Colin PowellColin Powell Night Defense and National Security: A New Plan to Treat Marine Anti-Semitism Like Human Beings: What It Is, What It Isn’t, And Why It Matters Psaki News Highlights Security Risks And Protocols For Biden MORE was praised as a friend, mentor and public servant of the highest level at a funeral Friday at the Washington National Cathedral in attendance. President BidenJoe BidenHouse sets Friday’s voting for Biden’s agenda. House leaders make a last-minute change to drug prices after the dispute aide who traveled with Biden to Europe tests positive for COVID-19: inform MORE and former Presidents Obama and George W. Bush.
In one of the most poignant moments of the services, Powell’s son, Michael Powell, called his father’s resume “too formidable for mere mortals” and described him as “a great lion with a great heart.”
Powell died last month at the age of 84. He was the first African American to serve as Secretary of State and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
“My father made a monumental difference,” he said, emotional at various points as he recalled his father’s legacy and his strong sense of character.
In a moving plea to the country, Michael asked Americans to honor his father’s legacy by striving to become more like him.
“To honor his legacy, I hope we will do more than write it down in the history books. I hope we recommit to being a nation where we are still doing his, ”he said.
He said his father felt that “bringing shame to the family” was a cardinal sin and said don’t forget where you come from. Powell was born in New York City and raised by Jamaican immigrant parents in the South Bronx.
Powell’s interest in others and his love of meeting and learning new people were themes throughout the funeral.
Michael, the former chairman of the Federal Communications Commission, told the story that his father suffered a puncture while driving on the Washington Beltway. A young disabled veteran stopped by to help him.
As the veteran asked for a selfie, Powell asked him about his life, including his family and friends, and invited him and his entire family to dinner.
“Colin Powell was a great leader because he was a great follower. You knew you couldn’t ask your troops to do something you weren’t willing to do yourself, ”he said.
Biden paid his respects to Powell’s wife, Alma Powell, with a hug and a kiss, while wearing a mask, at the end of the service.
Alma was also greeted after the funeral with hugs, kisses and handshakes from the first lady. Jill bidenJill BidenNight Defense & National Security: A New Plan To Treat Marines ‘Like Human Beings’ Shows Youngkin’s Surprise Shows Trump Not Necessary To Win Biden Predicts McAuliffe’s Win In Virginia Governor’s Race MORE, Obama, former first lady Michelle ObamaMichelle LeVaughn Robinson Obama Kal Penn says he was mocked by the Obamas for running for a White House job via the website Obama says change may be coming ‘too fast’ for many YouTube confirms that he chose children who featured in Harris’s video MORE, Bush, former First Lady Laura Bush, and former Secretary of State and First Lady Hilary Clinton, who attended without her husband, former President Clinton.
Alma, who was in a wheelchair, was escorted out of the cathedral by members of the military and waved and looked at the many people who attended to pay their respects to her late husband.
Secretary of state Antony blinkAntony Blinken Democrats call on Biden to sanction climate change taxpayers Taiwan official says China has debated attacking islands it controls, Emanuel nomination advances despite Democratic opposition MORE, Secretary of Defense Lloyd AustinLloyd Austin Overnight Defense & National Security – A New Plan to Treat Marines ‘Like Human Beings’ Vax Rejection: A Uniform Approach for Those in Military Uniform The US and NATO must counter Russia’s dominance in the Black Sea PLUS, and Joint Chief of Staff Gen. Mark milleyMORE they were also present.
The great respect that other dignitaries and presidents had for Powell was evident in the cathedral on Friday.
Her long career working for multiple administrations was promoted by another former secretary of state, Madeleine Albright. She referred to herself and Powell as “the closest of friends.”
She said Powell was the “best team player” and was always true to himself.
“He couldn’t be shaken by any threat or attempted promise to deviate from what he thought was right. He had a code instilled by his immigrant parents, perfected by army tradition and nurtured by more than half a century of marriage. He was also guided by a conscience that, unlike many, never slipped, ”he said.
Albright said Powell’s legacy of serving the United States will long outlive his passing.
With audience laughter to break the solemn mood, Albright said of Powell, “The military loved him,” “his adversaries respected him,” and he was “far more popular than his processor” at the State Department.
He painted a picture of the two, both now giants in the State Department legacy, as they were in 1993. He recalled that Powell, as chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, would go to White House meetings with a laser pointer and many medals. while she, as the United States ambassador to the United Nations, carried a yellow notebook and a pin to meetings.
Powell’s love of public service was outlined by his former MP, Richard Armitage, who opened his comments by describing how their 40-year friendship had started because they were both “disgruntled multi-tour combat veterans” of the Vietnam War.
They were both “not happy with the way we conducted the war and certainly not happy with the way we left, and they were delighted to be part of a new administration, which was coming in to develop not only the weapons systems we needed, but also to redevelop the morale that our nation needed so much, so it was a natural bonding thing, ”Armitage recalled.
After the war, Powell served as a member of President Nixon’s White House and later was former President Reagan’s national security adviser.
Armitage spoke of his friend’s humanity, recalling that Powell would say, “We all need to treat everyone with a little more kindness than we think they deserve, because we don’t know what’s going on in their lives.”
Before the start of the funeral, the US Army brass quintet played upbeat tunes, including “Dancing Queen,” by the 1970s Swedish band ABBA. Powell was known to his friends and colleagues as a huge fan of ABBA.
Armitage shared a memory of Powell singing ABBA’s “Mamma Mia” to the then Swedish Foreign Minister, who had just gifted him the band’s CD.
The United States Army Brass Quintet also performed Bob Marley’s “Three Little Birds” before the funeral, lending an upbeat and joyous tone to the otherwise grim passing of an American giant.