Michael Powell, the son of Former Secretary of State Colin Powell, said good bye to his father in an emotional eulogy on Friday. The funeral was held at Washington National Cathedral. Colin Powell died on October 18.
Powell was a longtime statesman and served under Presidents Ronald Reagan, George H. W. Bush, Bill Clinton and George W. Bush in national security roles. He was deservedly honored as a civil rights pioneer and the first African American to serve as a chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and Secretary of State.
In his eulogy, Michael Powell said, “The example of Colin Powell does not call on us to emulate his resume…It is to emulate his character and his example as a human being. We can strive to do that. We can choose to be good.”
Michael Powell recollected how one of his most cherished memories was of his father holding his hand when he was a child. Later, he held his father’s hand during his last days at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center.
“We walk through this life holding hands with the ones we love. They guide us. They pull us out of harm’s way. They touch and caress us with love and kindness. One of my most powerful memories come from holding my dad’s hand,” Michael Powell said.
“That hand is still now, but it left a deep imprint on the lives of family and dear friends, soldiers and sailors, presidents and prime ministers and a generation of aspiring young people,” Michael said of his father.
President Joe Biden was in attendance for the funeral. Former Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama also attended the funeral. Bill Clinton was unable to attend due to lingering health issues.
Madeleine Albright, who preceded Powell as secretary of state and Richard Armitage, who was Powell’s deputy secretary of state also delivered eulogies.
Powell was 84 and died from complications of COVID-19. He was vaccinated, according to his spokesperson, but was immunocompromised as a result of cancer treatments.
Powell was laid to rest in Arlington National Cemetery and was survived by his wife and his three children.