WASHINGTON (AP) – A memorial service for Colin L. Powell, a retired army general and former secretary of state who died Monday, will be held November 5 at the Washington National Cathedral, a spokeswoman said Thursday.
“Seats will be very limited and this will be by invitation only,” Peggy Chifrino said in an email statement.
Powell died of complications from COVID-19 at the age of 84. He was vaccinated, but his family said his immune system was compromised by multiple myeloma, a blood cancer for which he was being treated.
The retired General of the Army rose to prominence as the first black U.S. Secretary of State and chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. He spent 35 years in military uniform and his rise to fame as a soldier and diplomat was a historical example for minorities.
He joined the administration of President George W. Bush in 2001 as Secretary of State. Powell’s term in office was overshadowed by his appeal to the UN in February 2003, in which he misinformed to claim that Saddam Hussein was secretly possessing weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. Such weapons never appeared, and although the Iraqi leader was removed, the war turned into years of military and humanitarian losses.
Not being a privileged child, Powell often presented his biography as an American success story.
“My story is about a black child from a low-income immigrant family who was not promised early, who grew up in the South Bronx,” he wrote in his 1995 autobiography, My American Journey.
This is an experience he loved to remember later in his life. When he appeared at the United Nations, even while performing in Iraq, he often recalled his childhood in New York, where he grew up as a child of Jamaican immigrants and got one of his first jobs at the Pepsi-Cola bottling plant just across the street. East River from UN Headquarters.
Powell’s path to the military began at City College, where he discovered ROTC. When he put on his first uniform, he wrote, “I liked what I saw.”
He joined the army and in 1962 was one of more than 16,000 military advisers sent to South Vietnam by President John F. Kennedy. A series of promotions led him to the Pentagon and was appointed military assistant to Secretary of Defense Kaspar Weinberger. He later became commander of the 5th Army Corps in Germany and was President Ronald Reagan’s National Security Assistant.
During his tenure as chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, which began in 1989, his approach to war became known as the Powell Doctrine, according to which the United States should only engage forces in a conflict if it has clear and achievable goals. public support and sufficient firepower. and a strategy to end the war.