Colin Powell, First Black Secretary Of State, Dies From COVID 19 Complications

The state funeral of

Colin Powell, the

first Black Secretary of State and Joint Chiefs of Staff who died from COVID-19 complications on October 18 aged 84, took place on Friday.

The funeral was attended by

PresidentJoe Biden and first lady Jill Biden, and former Presidents Barack Obama and George W. Bush, among other serving and former government officials and legislators.

Powell, who was also a four-star general, was national security adviser to

President Ronald Reagan and served two tours in Vietnam.

Also attending the funeral service at

Washington National Cathedral were

Secretary of State Antony Blinken and former Secretaries of State

Hillary Clinton,

Condoleezza Rice and

James Baker.

Former Vice President Dick Cheney was also in attendance, as were former Defense Secretaries William Cohen and Robert Gates.

Former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright and former Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage, along with Powell's son, Michael, gave tributes.

The Rev. Randolph Marshall Hollerith, the dean of the cathedral, said Powell was "a blessing to all who knew him".

Powell, the son of Jamaican immigrants, was born in Harlem and grew up in a working class family in the South Bronx. In the Army, he found a culture where a Black man could find his own path, where race, background and income level didn't define you, he told National Public Radio in 2012.

As a young Army officer, he served as an adviser in South Vietnam in the early 1960s.

After retiring from the Army, he wrote a memoir and was later tapped byformer President

George W. Bush to serve as secretary of state.

'A tower of strength and common sense'

Bush described Powell as "a tower of strength and common sense."

But Powell's defense of the 2003 invasion of Iraq, and his presentation at the United Nations of evidence of weapons of mass destruction that turned out not to exist, drew widespread criticism and put a blemish on his reputation.

Powell was not a proponent of invading Iraq and did not see eye to eye with either Vice President Dick Cheney or Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld.

During a meeting in 2002, Powell warned Bush of the consequences of invasion: "You break it, you're going to own it," he reportedly said.

Source : https://www.marca.com/en/lifestyle/us-news/2021/11/06/61860aacca474143748b459d.html

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