Ex-U.S President, Barack Obama pays tribute to late Secretary of State Colin Powell
A former President of the U.S., Barack Obama, has described Colin Powell, a former U.S Secretary of State who died on Monday as more than a problem-solver, an exemplary soldier and exemplary patriot.
Obama stated this on Monday when he took to his social media handle to pen his tribute to the departed four-star General who fought in the Vietnam War, led the Gulf War and the Panama invasion, the Iraqi invasion, among others.
He recalled that everyone who worked with the late Gen. Powell appreciated his clarity of thought, insistence on seeing all sides, and ability to execute, adding that although he’d be the first to acknowledge that he didn’t get every call right, his actions reflected what he believed was best for America and the people he served.
Obama further said that along the way, Gen. Powell helped a generation of young people set their sights higher, stressing that he never denied the role that race played in his own life and in the U.S society more broadly. The former president said Powell also refused to accept that race would limit his dreams, and through his steady and principled leadership, helped pave the way for so many who would follow.
“Years ago, when he was asked to reflect on his own life, General Colin Powell described himself as “first and foremost a problem-solver.” It was true, of course. But he was far more than that.
“General Powell was an exemplary soldier and an exemplary patriot. He was at the center of some of the most consequential events of our lifetimes – serving two decorated tours in Vietnam; guiding U.S. strategy in the Gulf War; serving as National Security Advisor, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and Secretary of State; offering counsel to four presidents; and helping shape American foreign policy for decades.
“It was the way Colin Powell saw the world – not as a starry-eyed idealist, but as someone with deep and abiding faith in this country and what it stands for – that made him such a central figure,” Obama said.
Obama further said that he was deeply appreciative that someone like General Powell, who had been associated with Republican administrations in the past, was willing to endorse him, a Democrat, in 2008 for president.
He added that what impressed him even more was how Powell did it. At a time when conspiracy theories were swirling, with some questioning my faith, General Powell took the opportunity to get to the heart of the matter in a way only he could.
“The correct answer is, he is not a Muslim; he’s a Christian,” General Powell said. “But the really right answer is, ‘What if he is?’ Is there something wrong with being a Muslim in this country? The answer’s no, that’s not America. Is there something wrong with some seven-year-old Muslim-American kid believing that he or she could be president?” Obama quoted Powell as saying while endorsing him.
“That’s who Colin Powell was. He understood what was best in this country, and tried to bring his own life, career, and public statements in line with that ideal. It’s why, for all the battles he fought and problems he solved, Michelle and I will always look to General Powell as an example of what America – and Americans – can and should be if we wish to remain the last, best hope of earth,” Obama added.
The former president concluded by sending his family’s thoughts to Powell’s widow, Alma, their three children and grandchildren, and everyone mourning his loss.