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Presidents, loved ones pay respects to Colin Powell in Washington

Published: Nov. 5, 2021 at 3:32 PM EDT
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WASHINGTON (Gray DC) - The nation’s capital remembered Secretary Colin Powell Friday, who passed away at 84 due to COVID complications. Three presidents, past and present, filed into the National Cathedral where a funeral service was held for the late public servant.

It was an invite-only service for Powell, with COVID precautions diminishing the crowd size. But former and current U.S. leaders still paying their respects.

A Secretary of State, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, national security adviser, and army general, Powell served the public for decades.

“He said the trait I guess you’d want to see in a leader is someone whose troops would follow him or her anywhere,” said Richard Armitage, one of the speakers at the service. Armitage was a deputy secretary of state under Powell as well as a close friend.

Rep. Steven Palazzo (R-MS) did not attend the funeral service, but he said Powell’s service directly impacted his life. Palazzo served in the Marine Corps during the Gulf War in the early 90s, a war Powell is credited for helping win.

“Having real leadership, solid leadership, combat battle leadership, it just builds confidence,” said Palazzo.

Palazzo said the multi-nation coalition Powell formed and delivering a decisive victory in the Gulf came in part because of his leadership abilities. Palazzo said knowing people like Powell were up the chain of command gave soldiers the feeling they could do anything.

“You got to want to follow your leader, otherwise things could turn south very fast,” said Palazzo.

Beyond the public servant Colin Powell, during the ceremony loved ones also remembered Powell as a father, husband and friend.

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