Today at the National Cathedral in Washington, D.C., dignitaries gathered to honor and bid farewell to the late former Secretary of State Colin L. Powell, who passed away on October 18, 2021, at the age of 84. President Joe Biden and First Lady Jill Biden were in attendance, along with former President George W. Bush and former First Lady Laura Bush, former President Barack Obama and former First Lady Michelle Obama, as well as former First Lady and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Secretary of State Antony Blinken also attended the funeral service.
My heart is sad, for I have lost a friend.Madeleine K. Albright64th U.S. Secretary of State
Powell served as the 65th Secretary of State and among his many accomplishments in public service, made history as the first African American Secretary of State. His predecessor, Former Secretary Madeleine Albright, who herself made history as the first woman Secretary of State, delivered a eulogy in remembrance of Secretary Powell. “My heart is sad, for I have lost a friend,” said Albright.
In her remarks at the Powell funeral, Albright shared how the two former Secretaries formed a friendship and earned each other’s mutual respect during their years of public service and interactions at White House meetings. “I wore a pin, he wore a lot of medals. I was a mere mortal female civilian. In the wake of Operation Desert Storm, he was the hero of the Western World,” she said.
Powell was remembered for his character and his love for his family, friends, and colleagues. “Beneath that glossy exterior of warrior-statesmen, was one of the gentlest and most decent people any of us will ever meet. As I grew to know him, I came to view Colin Powell as a figure who almost transcended time, for his virtues were Homeric: honesty, dignity, loyalty, and an unshakeable commitment to his calling and word,” Albright said.
About the Author: Rene Moraida is a Public Affairs Specialist and DipNote blogger in the Bureau of Global Public Affairs’ Office of Global Social Media.