Authors: Matthew Lee and Robert Burns
Washington (Associated Press). Colin L. Powell, a humble military diplomat, was elected the first black secretary-general of state. He is remembered by his family and friends Friday as a humble and elegant leader who can set an example for future generations.
His son Michael spoke in touching respect to his father’s passing at the National Cathedral in Washington. “The example of Colin Powell doesn’t require us to imitate his resume, which would be terrible for mortals.” “This is to emulate his character and his role as a human being. This is possible if we work hard.
The funeral was held on a sunny but cold day and attracted many dignitaries as well as friends from both military and political fields. The group includes President Joe Biden and former Presidents George W. Bush & Barack Obama, former Secretary of States James Baker, Condoleezza rice, and Hillary Clinton. Also, the former Secretary of Defense Robert Gates and the current Chairman of Joint Chiefs of Staff, Major Mark Milley.
The two recent presidents did not attend—Bill Clinton, who is recovering from a severe infection, and Donald Trump, who Powell criticized.
Powell, 84, died from complications due to COVID-19. His family confirmed that Powell was vaccinated for the coronavirus. However, Powell died from complications from COVID-19 on October 18.
A mask must be worn by all who attend Friday’s funeral. It is not compulsory for all.
The U.S. Army brass quartet performed a variety of music for guests who gathered at the cathedral, where Dwight D. Eisenhower’s funerals were held. Powell’s favourite Abba’s “Dancing Queen”, (Dancing Queen).
Richard Armitage was the second-ranked official of the State Department during Powell’s time as Secretary of State in the Bush administration. He remembered the visit of Ann Linde, the Swedish Foreign Minister, and his feelings for Abba. He owns a complete collection of CDs with band music.
“Colin immediately kneeled on one knee and sang “Mamma Mia”, to an extremely interesting Swedish foreign minister, and an American delegation that was stunned. Armitage stated that they had never seen anything similar before. He described their 40-year relationship that began during Powell’s time at the Pentagon.
Madeleine Albright, Powell’s former Secretary-of-State, described Powell as “a person who almost transcended the time” and “one among the gentlest & most respectable persons any of us will ever meet.”
She said that “he enjoys the chance to connect with other generations.”
She said, “My heart breaks this morning, because we have lost a friend” and “because one of our most loyal and skilled soldiers has died.” Even though we are grieving for our loss, it’s almost like a familiar voice is asking us to stop our grief and to look at the future. We can continue to do business with the nation, but we must also make the most out of our time here on Earth, one step at a time.