My VIP for this week is Colin Powell, former U.S. Secretary State and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. He passed away this morning at age 84 from complications from COVID-19, despite being fully vaccinated. He had several other health problems that complicated his case: multiple myeloma (cancer of plasma cells that suppress the immune system) and Parkinson’s Disease.
Powell was a professional soldier who was a distinguished trailblazer. He served in combat duty in Vietnam, he was the first Black national security adviser for President Ronald Reagan, and he was the youngest and first Black chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff for President George H.W. Bush.
According to President George W. Bush, Powell was “a great public servant” who was “such a favorite of Presidents that he earned the Presidential Medal of Freedom – twice. He was highly respected at home and abroad. And most important, Colin was a family man and a friend.”
In their announcement of his death, Powell’s family stated: “We have lost a remarkable and loving husband, father, grandfather and a great American.”
Powell was a great American who served his nation well. He was an honorable leader who blessed America and who will be missed. I hope that Congress allows his body to rest in honor in the Capitol Building.