tv The Funeral of Colin Powell CNN November 5, 2021 8:00am-11:00am PDT
it was less than 1% when we took office ten months ago. one more piece of good news. last night we received promising news about another potent and potential covid treatment, a pill, a pill developed by pfizer that may dramatically reduce the risk of being hospitalized or dying when taken shortly after infection, if you're infected. if authorized by the fda, we may soon have pills and may treat the virus of those who become infected. we have already secured millions of doses, and the therapy would be another tool many our toolbox to protect people from the worst outcomes of covid. it's important to remember, we need to prevent infections, not wait to treat them once they happen. vaccination remains the best way to do that. the pandemic is not yet behind us. but within this week's announcement, vaccines for kids, more adults getting vaccinated, potential treatment for those
who get sick were accelerated in a president out of this pandemic. the second way to make sure recovery is fully felt is to pass our bipartisan -- my bipartisan infrastructure agreement and my build back better plan, which would be debated now. i'm going to be heading over there shortly after i do this press conference, back to my office to make some calls. i want to say very clearly, if your number one issue is the cost of living, the number one priority should be seeing congress pass these bills. 17 nobel prize winners in economics have said, spontaneously wrote to me together, and said this will lower inflationary pressure on the economy when we pass my bills. a new analysis of the wall street form moody's found it would ease the burden of inflation for middle-class families. put another way, these bills will provide families with, as my dad used to say, just a
little more breathing room. that's because the build back better framework lowers your bills for health care, child care, prescription drugs, and preschool. and families get a tax cut. that's how you end some of the anxiety people are feeling about the economy. that's how we get people some breathing room. that's in addition to the infrastructure bill that will create millions of jobs rebuilding the arteries of our economy. and by the way, these two bills add up to the largest effort to combat climate change in the history of the united states of america. right now, we stand on the cusp of historic economic progress. two bills that together will create millions of jobs to grow the economy and invest our nation and our people, lower costs for families and turn climate crises into opportunity and put us on a path to win the economic competition for the 21st century against all comers. in passing these bills, we'll
say clearly to the american people, we hear your voices, we're going to invest the your hopes, help you secure a brighter future for yourself and your family, and make sure that america wins the future in the process. i'm asking every house member, member of the house of representatives, so vote yes on both these bills right now. send the infrastructure bill to my desk. send the build back better bill to the senate. let's build an incredible economic progress, build on what we've already done, because this will be such a boost when it occurs. let's show the world that america's democracy can deliver and propel our economy forward. and let's get this done. i'll be back to answer some of your questions when they pass. may god bless you all, and my god protect our troops. thank you. >> without a cbo -- >> president biden touting the new job numbers out today,
calling them a significant improvement since he took office, and saying the country is now on the right track, also connecting, erica, to the progress on vaccinations, that ending the pandemic makes a difference in economic growth. down from 100 million unvaccinated adults in this country to 60 million in the last several weeks. he also made a pitch for the build back better agenda as debate continues on the hill. we're joined by cnn's john harwood, manu raju on the hill, and economics and political comment kay or the, katherine r rampel. katherine, as we look at these numbers we saw, not just the big jump in october but the revisions upward in both august and september, not insignificant revisions upward, does that signal to you that the delta surge's impact on the economy was temporary, it's over, and that this biden boom people talked about in 2021 is back, in effect? >> reporter: i don't know that
we can yet say that it's over per se, but it does seem to be fading. the factors that the delta variant was inflicts on the economy, things like people afraid to go out and consume services again, afraid to go back to jobs, child care struggles, et cetera, those seem to be fading, which obviously is a good sign. and that's partly because vaccination rates are up. i think biden is perfectly within his rights to tout that record because that makes a big difference in getting delta under control. and until infections are at bay, the economy is still at the mercy of the pandemic. >> john harwood, when we look at this, this was some good news that the white house needed, obviously, not just the october report but those revisionings from august and september. how much momentum, if any, does this give the white house, give the president, who said he's
going back to his office now to make calls to lawmakers to really push for them to get behind specifically the build back better plan, does this give him a little more ammo this morning? >> reporter: a little bit. it's the start. and if, in fact, they can sustain the progress against the pandemic, then you're going to see the continuation of strong jobs reports, strong economic growth reports, and over time some of those supply chain issues that have been fueling inflation are likely to smooth out and ease those inflationary pressures. all of those things have been -- inflation in particular, they slow down in the summer along with the other political problems joe biden had, had dragged his approval rating down. it's been a terrible few months politically for him. you can see even days after the very bad election night the democratings suffered in both virginia and new jersey, the beginnings of a turnaround, if they can sustain it.
potentially, putting the pandemic in the rear-view mirror, getting the economy fully back on track, and also ending the story line that democrats are stumble bums and don't know what they're doing if, in fact, they can pass this agenda. haven't done it yet. manu will tell us where that stands. all of those things together have the potential to give momentum for biden heading into that 2022 midterm election year. >> it was interesting to hear the president use that phrase, on the right track, because frankly, polling issue, the majority of the american os don't believe country at least currently is on the right track. manu, there was a moment this morning folks said this could be a big good day for democrats, the jobs numbers and likely volts on build back better and infrastructure. but there's a new sticking point here, and that is demands from some moderates for a full cbo scoring of this, the actual cost of this, before they vote yes. any way to get around it, or do we have to wait another couple weeks? >> reporter: they're in a
holding pattern right now. all morning long a handful of moderate members, 60s, seven, have come in and out of nancy pelosi's office all morning to try to resolve these issues. remember, she can't afford to lose more than three votes here, and if that happens, this bill ll will sink. as a result, five moderates have come out with a letter this week saying there needs to be a full cost estimate from the congressional budget office to detail the impacts of this bill, which is estimated about $1.9 trillion right now. but on the tax side of it, the white house is saying this would be fully paid for, it would raise about $2.1 trillion in vef v revenue. but the moderate numbers want the actual congressional budget office to do a full analysis of this. the problem for the democratic leaders is they want to have the votes today, but that budget office estimate could take
potentially ten days, 14 days, according to the budget committee chairman, john yarmouth, who told me this could go up perhaps to the week before thanksgiving to get that full analysis. the question is whether anything else can alleviate some of those concerns, whether some preliminary estimates could resolve those concerns. at the moment, they have not. one member, jarrett goldman, told me he is a no without that full cbo score. others have not quite gone that far. these discussions are ongoing. but if they continue to hold out, then they may be forced to punt once again and lead to more questions about whether democrats can get this done. >> i feel like we've seen this movie before, manu. >> reporter: yes, ma'am. >> as we wait and watch for more of that, looking into this report a little more, catherine, the jobs numbers were very good. the revision was great. the unemployment rate. one of the things that stood out is the growth we're seeing across multiple sectors. that's important, too, in terms of the economy coming back. >> reporter: the gains were broad based.
that's good news. we saw gains in leisure and hospitality, things like restaurants and hotels. we saw gains in transportation, in warehousing, lots of different sectors, temporary business services. so that's good. it does suggest that the economy is reawakening to some extent, and there are other economic indicators we should point out that have been quite strong recently, that the biden white house has been a little bit tentative about crowing from the rooftops, which they could be doing, things like, you know, if trump were in office, i'm sure he'd be talking about how strong stock markets are right now, gdp is above its prepandemic level, even if it e slowed down recently. so there are a number of indicators here that show that the economy is not back where it was, obviously, in many respects. people are still struggling, still dealing with higher prices, but it is doing quite well. i think the hesitation that this white house feels is partly because they're worried about
inflation, right. that's a very real painful issue for many americans, but they're also sort of dealing with the ptsd from the obama years when obama and hillary clinton, when she was running for president, perceived about too upbeat about the economy and a little too disconnected from the real-world struggles of many working-class families. you see biden trying to walk that line between celebrating these broad-based job gains, other positive economic news, but still acknowledging, hey, i understand there's a lot of pain that's still out there. i know you're worried about prices, et cetera. we have it under control. >> john, to catherine's point, concern about inflation is real because it's hitting people in the pocketbook right now & indicator perhaps from the virginia governor's race and glen youngkin's position on cutting taxes for groceries hit home for people because i would's a way to soften the blow of rising prices here. i don't want to overestimate any president's ability to frankly
solve inflation, right. that's always exaggerated. but does the biden administration have a plan to blunt the effects of this? >> well, the most conspicuous thing they're doing is trying to deploy much of their cabinet to ameliorating some of the supply chain problems, so at ports in los angeles and long beach, getting more truckers on the road, working to help smaller producers of things like poultry because you have a concentration of supply. those are things they can do, but they can only work on the margins. the national economic council director wrote to the ftc, talked about looking into price gouging for gasoline. again, all those things are on the margins even if they have some success. and gas prices are probably the number-one irritant that affects the public mood in terms of inflation. but time heals some of the supply chain problems that have
been generating this inflation. the biden administration may have contributed somewhat to inflation with the size of the american rescue plan. but that's done. what they've got to do now is try to get the economy on a more stable footing, more normal footing. >> it's interesting in terms of inflation that the president specifically pointed out in those remarks, he said moody's analytics, analysis of the bills said they would ease the burden of inflation making his pitch to lawmakers, publicly, catherine, to sign on here. when we look at what those bills could do, how much could that change the situation when we look at inflation moving forward if they were passed, right, if the infrastructure bill was voted on and signed into law perhaps as early as today, that there could be some agreement and enough volts on that social security safety net bill? >> there are some elements of both plans, the infrastructure bill, and the social spending climate package, the reconciliation bill, that would likely ease inflationary pressures in the long run,
things like if you build more housing, that should reduce the price pressure for housing, which is also a big deal besides gas prices right now. but those take a while to work their way through the system. i think it's a little bit overly optimistic to suggest that we would see any immediate change today. the big problems for inflation as john pointed out, have to do with supply chain issues, that people have savings that they're eager to spend at this point, and there aren't as much ass to spend that money on or at least they're a little less attractive so people are trying to buy goods, trying to buy toys and bikes and atvs and whatever else. so there's been a huge demand for goods at the same time that the supply chain has made it much more difficult to get those goods to consumers. so it's hard to see how these two marquee agenda items of the biden administration would really address those immediate problems, although as john
points out, there are other things that the administration is trying to do that may be fiddling along the margins but would have some effect in the near term. >> sadly, many officials believe that supply chain issues extend well into 2022. catherine rampell, john harwood, manu raju thanks to all of you and thanks to you at home for joining us today. i'm jim sciutto. >> i'm erica hill. stay with us. special coverage of the funeral of former secretary of state general colin powell begins right now. ♪ you're watching picture, images, from inside beautiful washington national cathedral. up to 1,000 people, family, friends, differents, soldiers,
politicians, filing into the pews right now as the nation gets ready to honor colin powell one final time. this is cnn's special live coverage of the funeral of general colin powell. welcome our viewers around the world. i'm jake tapper in washington. in moments, presidents from both parties will arrive the pay their respects. president biden, president obama, and president bush, first lady jill biden, first lady michelle obama, flald laura bush. hillary clinton just arrived moments ago, former first lady and secretary of state. today's guests are a testament to general powell's legacy as a servant to the united states of america, not a servant to any party. there's president bush right there speaking behind that mask. colin powell was, indeed, a trail blazer, four-star general, the first african-american national security adviser, the first african-american and youngest chairman of the joint
chiefs of staff staff ever, first black secretary of state. wolf blitzer is standing by at the national cathedral in northwest, washington, d.c., where we expect the program to start in just minutes. >> yes, indeed, jake. a funeral here at the washington national cathedral is a real distinction afforded to presidents and only the highest ranking officials in the american public life. we expect tributes from richard armitage, the american diplomat, who served as general powell's deputy at the secretary of state, from madeleine albright, who was close friends with powell, and from powell's loving son, bishop michael, who gave memorable serving at the wedding of prince harry and meghan markle, will shepherd today's events. cnn will capture every minute of this salute to this true american hero. at the national cathedral, with me here is suzanne malveaux. you've been talking with colin powell's family.
you know the family well. how are they preparing for this incredibly solemn day? >> reporter: wolf, it's a beautiful and intimate process to work with the washington national cathedral staff. those who will be speak having gone through the procession minute by minute how this will unfold. it is something really very special to work with that staff as they will be receiving the body within the hour or so. the family will have a private moment at the casket inside before this procession, and they know that their father was someone who was larger than life to so many people, but also one of the things he used to do all the time when he attended so many of those big high-function dinners or whether it was just at a school, he was always taking and jotting names and notes and phone numbers on either dinner programs or simply on napkins.
he would take down people's names, people he had conversations with, and they could simply be somebody who was sweeping the floor or a young student who he had just met and said, yes, i'll get back to you, i'll mentor you. one of the things that was so special about what general powell did and many people didn't realize this, is that he would call those folks back, and he would always follow up. and people on the other end were just shocked that they were hearing from general colin powell, that he, in fact, was following up, he was concerned, and he loved to be engaged with the community. those are the stories that come from the family. those are also people who will be sitting in this audience inside the cathedral today. wolf? >> yeah. we're seeing former president bush and condoleezza rice. they are here at the national cathedral. it's been amazing to see who has arrived already, and more
distinguished guests are on the way. our chief national correspondent john king is with us here. our cnn special correspondent jamie gangel is here. one of the amazing things we're seeing, john, this is a rare moment of bipartisanship here in washington right now at this very, very point gnant moment. >> because the remarkable life of colin powell was itself a bipartisan jourp ney. not sure of his politics back in the days coming out of the army. became a reagan/bush republican, but would endorse barack obama, hillary clinton, joe biden. you're watching the bushes and the clintons. the obamas will be here. president biden is on his way here. members of congress and administrations, democratic and republican, hugging, saying hello, celebrating something that too many people in the country thing v think is wrong, frankly. in our politics today it becomes
wrong you seek the advice and counsel of someone from the other party. that was one of the great strengths of colin powell. he listened. he respected, perhaps even more so people who disagreed with him. he took the time to get to know why. that's why went we hear secr secretary albright later today, they both grew up in the cold war, the country changed dramatically, they became friends. she will say i believe when she speaks in her tribute that they disagreed a lot, but they were friends and they put country first. colin powell's volunteer organization is america's promise. it helps kids from a working-class family in the bronx who became anl american hero. he put country first. america came first, not your political party. >> madeleine al bright and colin powell both children of immigrants who came to this country and had a new opportunity. i suspect we'll hear that today. when we see democrats and republicans, see the images from
the national cathedral, it brings back memories of i think it's fair to say the good old days when democrats and republicans worked and talked to each other and weren't always hammering away. >> feels very pre-2016, doesn't it. it also speaks to, as john said, colin powell, the politician, the military officer, but it also speaks to colin powell the man, who we were joking that his superpower was connecting with people, that as soon as you met him, within a few seconds he would be asking, well, what about you? i think what you're seeing here today is that connection that he made with so many people. he also never forgot where he came from. yes, he was ambitious, yes, he rose high, but he would be the first to say i'm from the bronx, i went to city college. he never got too big to get
under a volvo and repair it. so i think it speaks to the man as well as the military officer and politician. >> when i first got to know him at the pentagon during the first gulf war over 30 years ago, he was chairman of the joint chiefs of staff, i had no idea what his politics were, but i knew he was an outstanding general, a great military officer. we see general milley there, the current chairman of the joint chiefs, with president bush. they're there and watching this unfold. it's going to be, jake, a really emotional moment when we start hearing about general powell during the course of this funeral here at the national cathedral. >> that's right, wolf. colin powell touched a lot of lives during his long career in public service. let's talk about that right now with the individuals i have with me starting with general mark
c c curtling, who knew general powell. >> the thing i keep going back to, wolf, is his character. that defined him. it is an element of leadership. we look for it in the military. he xuxuded it. he not only did what was right, he showed other people what right looked like in everything he did, both his professional life and his personal life. he generated an entire following of my generation and the ones younger than me and the ones older than me as he did what he did in his career. he was a trail blazer, not only from a racial standpoint but just the way he did things. >> we see right now president obama and first lady michelle obama walking in, saying hello to their predecessors, former president bush and first lady laura bush. wolf noted this earlier, it is a bipartisan moment here.
it is a shame that such moments only seem to happen in this time during funerals these days. but there is something reassuring about democrats and republicans -- and as john king noted earlier, the celebration of colin powell's life is a bipartisan affair. i'm sorry. i interrupted you. >> we see the color guard coming in. it's flying not only the american flag, but behind it is the flag of the chairman of the joint chiefs, probably his most significant moment in his professional career. but, jake, going back to the character piece, that is how we evaluate one another in the military. it's the principal things we look for in leaders. and everything that general powell did from the very start of his career until the end of his career exhibited who he was and how he was showing others.
>> retired navy commander ted johnson is with us in studio as well. commander, what are you thinking about today? >> there's an old saying that you should never meet your heroes. and colin powell was the exception. i was a young naval officer. i met him about a decade ago when he came to talk to our class of white house fellows. far generation, he was the example of what was possible. >> here's the motorcade. sorry for interrupting. the motorcade coming to national cathedral. go ahead. continue. i'm sorry. >> absolutely. aside from all the superlative achievements, he was to a generation of black americans, especially, especially those of us who joined the service, he was our thurgood marshall in a sense. what thurgood marshall meant to the next generation of civil rights lawyers, that's what he meant to young black officers. i joined a year or two after he left the membership. i was never concurrent with his service, but his example lasted much longer than his time in the army and it resonates today.
an example of a life well lived and one that many americans know. >> and tell us how you see general powell as a historian? >> well, general powell was a towering figure in the period that saw the end of the cold war, when we, as americans, were trying to figure out what role force should play in international relations, in our diplomacy, and general powell not only will be remembered and should be as an inspirational figure for all americans and as someone who broke glass ceilings, but general powell actually shaped events. he needs to be remembered for that too. he is an important player at the end of the cold war, working with people like george schultz and nancy reagan, with president reagan to move in a different
direction. so colin powell is both a towering figure in our national security history, and he's also a towering figure in civil rights history. and he is the first person ever to have those two achievements. and i would argue that he laid the groundwork for barack obama, that his popularity in the mid-1990s sent a signal around this country that a black individual could become president. >> that's right. people forget there was so much talk, and colin powell, like general eisenhower before him, was recruited heavily by both democrats and republicans, because nobody knew his politics. he ultimately decided he was a republican and ultimately decided that running for office was not for him. the hearse has arrived at the national cathedral. we expect any moment that the general's casket will be taken
out. we expect we might see his widow, alma, any minute. gloria borger, what are your thoughts watching this? >> i remember talking to colin powell back in 1995 when everyone wanted to recruit him to run for the presidency. what was so extraordinary -- of course it's kind of hard to turn people down when everybody seems to be saying you've got to run. and i had this conversation with him where he pointed to the stars on his shoulder and said, you know what? people have to listen to me because i have these stars. when you're in the oval office, they don't have to listen to you. and he said, you know, this is something i'm thinking about because what i do now is what i love, and i'm thinking about that i might not love that as much, because the authority i have now is very much unquestioned sometimes, and i kind of like that.
>> in fact, he wrote two speeches, one in which he was going to announce his intention to run for the presidency, that he was going to deliver to his beloved alma mater, city college of new york, and one he announced he was not going to run. in the end, he delivered the second speech saying running for office was not for him. there's his widow, who also suffered from covid as did her late husband. thankfully it was very brief. general, you know alma powell. >> my wife remembers because she was involved in all of the branches of the military. i'm thinking of the reflection she has today of not only, you know, the loss of her husband but i'm sure she's reflecting back on those 40-plus years in the military, the moves that we
put all our families through, the challenges that she had when she was raising three children. and mrs. powell was not the kind of person who would display her rank. she was not one of those. she was a down to earth person, much like her husband. her smile would light up the universe. she had a heart as big as texas. as much as we loved him, all the spouses loved her. >> they'd been married since 1962. a lot of marriages in the military don't last that long. it is a tough life. a lot of marriages in politics don't last that long. >> they absolutely had a true love story. gloria was talking about one of the reasons he didn't run for president. another is he just wasn't enthusiastic about it. that's probably an understatement. >> right.
>> but as we see these family and the friends, i was texting with debbie dingle, a member of congress, who is going to be at the funeral today, one of the few members of congress who will be there. and she was talking about, you know, her late husband, john dingle, and they were together at a time, this is talked a lot about at funerals, there's a reason it happens at funerals, because it is a time of the past. they were raising their children together across party lines with military families, you had republicans, you had democrats, they lived in washington, lived in suburban washington, and they really got to know each other as people, which is why you see the outpouring that you do across party lines today. >> malika henderson, general powell was asked one time, of all the people he had met in his lifetime of service as secretary of state, national security adviser, chairman of the joint chiefs of staff, soldier, who
was the best person he ever met? he said unequivocally alma powell. >> good answer. >> we learned from that. >> truly sincere, though. i think he really meant that. >> i think that's right. and, you know, i only got to meet colin powell once, and it was one of the first times i came to cnn. and there he was in the green room. he was one of the people who my parents alles admired more than anyone, someone people believed could be the first black president and wanted to be the first black president even if they were democrats, because he'd navigated th edd the halls power, stayed connected to african-americans. when i met him, that sense of humanity, that sense of decency, that sense of a common touch was so much there, you could see it. you know, even beamed on the television screen, there was just a kind of decency that he radiated. >> yeah, absolutely .
the military is deemed to be the most democratic institution in america. it reminds me of something my drill instructors used to say, push-ups don't care about your race or ethnicity. watching general powell achieve things in the military that no other black person had done before was an incredible inspiration. he tells the story when he visited with my class of white house fellows about squirrels and president reagan, a story that made it into a book on leadership. the story goes that the president had set out nuts for some squirrels earlier and powell stopped by to complain about some interagency issue. in the middle of it, reagan jumps up and said, look, colin, they're eating the nuttings i sent out. the lesson general powell took from it was that reagan would listen to him complain about issues as long as he wanted, to but it wasn't his problem to solve. it was a lesson in delegation and empowering your staff, telling general powell, go figure it out, the squirrels are
eating the nuts i set out. it's those kind of humanizing moments for a star-struck young naval officer, you see the man general powell and not just the legacy that he left for the country and certainly for a cohort of folks serving in the military over the decades. >> you were talking about -- your son wrote a paper about him? >> i was working for a four-star general by the name of fred franks, another individual contributing to desert storm. we were down in southern virginia. general powell was going through the challenges that president clinton had laid on him about what to do about the balkans. so he asked general franks, hey, come on up and let's talk -- you have a lot of experience in europe, let's talk about what you think i should do. so franks pulled me into the helicopter. we fly out. the night before our sixth grade son had written his black history month's home work assignment on general powell. so he gaiftd to me the night
before. i said i'm seeing powell tomorrow. i'll show it to him. i gave it to general franks. he read it in the helicopter and thought it was hilarious, so he gave it to general powell. after the meeting about the balkans and all this serious talk, powell, one of the few times i met him, said come here a minute. he said, your son's probably a better writer than you are. he had signed the paper and said, "to scott, great job, you should get an a-plus on this." i brought this along as a remembrance. we talk a lot about president biden giving the coin to the pope last week. this is a coin that general powell gave me that day. one of the tokens. he gave to me much like the president gave to the pope and said, "you better have this the next time i see you or you're buying the drinks." just the traditions. again, going back to the character that he had. >> a beloved patriot. wolf? >> yeah.
it's really already we can see very moving what's going on at the national cathedral, jake. the presidential motorcade will be arriving very soon. president biden will be here, of course. jamie, as we watch all of this unfold, all of us over these years, we got to know colin powell, a great american, a great man. but tell us a little bit about your personal experiences with him because they were so, so powerful. >> i'm smiling because the first time i met him, i have to say, he was very young then, it was back in the reagan administration, but i remember him walking into the room, i remember he was larger than life. i said, this is a superstar. and he immediately said to me, where are you from? i said i'm from new york. he said i'm from new york too. and he also somehow quickly figured out that i was jewish, and he starts speaking to me in yiddish. now, he knew more yiddish than i
did. and i don't think this was the first time he had pulled this on people. you could see sort of looking at him and he's black and he's speaking yiddish, and he said, jamie, i'm from the bronx, of course i speak yiddish! and, again, just to go back to -- he knew how to connect to people immediately. if i could just say one thing about alma powell, they were married for 58 years. they met in 1961. they were set up on a blind date that neither one of them wanted to go to. and alma wore weird clothing on purpose and a lot of sort of strange makeup. and then she saw him before she came into the restaurant, she said, oh, he's interesting, and she went back and she sort of changed her clothes and took off some of the makeup.
and he was subsmitten on the fi date and the rest is history. >> you and i got to meet him during the first gulf war. >> important point. how do you rise from a young black guy as a white house fellow, junior officer, to the pinnacle of american power but to the friends of presidents? a friend of george w. bush, a friend of barack obama and bill clinton. how do you do that? the connection part. i met him during the gulf war. i traveled with him, secretary cheney and general powell, building support for the gulf war around the region. rev we refuel, and not a long conversation, don't want to overstate it. but we're talking about race. i said i went to school in boston. he said public schools? i said yes. that gave me credibility. he asked about military service in the family. my dad was in the army but at the end of korea, but in germany. i had an uncle who did hard combat in korea, and he winced when i explained. he asked what unit. he took the time, a minute,
two-minute conversation, but took time to ask about you. to the point you made earlier, i remember traveling with him, and then a trip after the horrible southeast asia tsunami. when you went to man, to egypt, saudi arabia, the officials in the government and the troops in the field would light up. this black man was at the pinnacle of american power, the four stars on the uniform when he was general, the secretary of state after the tsunami, he went with jeb bush, and they traveled. and again, you were in the poorest places in the world, sri lanka, indonesia, thailand. they had lost everything. it feels the most devastating thing i'd seen in my life. and there was this larger than life black man. you could see it in the children. he just lit up because tim's point about how transformational he was that a black man from the bronx could rise to such american power, in the gulf war, 8 years before barack obama, and
i think that was what people saw in him. he changed the image of america around the world. i remember him going through the desert. there were troops from all over the world there. people would look at colin powell and say, wow. >> he was a hero. he was so, so special and especially those of us who are journalists, he would always get involved, call me, i want to make sure you say the right thing, make sure you look good, and we were always grateful to him for getting involved the way he did. we're watching the arrivals. they continue. president biden will be here moment taperly. he will arrive. this funeral surveillance will begin. suzanne malveaux, i know you and your family had a special relationship, especially your dad, with general powell. >> well, that's right. i mean, i had the opportunity to cover general powell but also really just the privilege to know him through my father. they were good friends. they were professional colleagues and good friends for
decades, more than 35 years through social circles and through howard university, the board of howard university. it is really an intimate and small and tight-knit professional black community here in washington, d.c. you would see general powell, his wife, alma, at many of the functionings and activities, whether it was the boulay or the lakes or jack and jill or any one of those black service organizations that would bring all of us together on many, many occasions. wolf, the first time that i met secretary powell, it speaks to his charm. it was 28 years ago. he was the commencement speaker at harvard university. i was just a young reporter at the time. he was very controversial about the don't ask, don't tell policy in the military that was prohibiting gays from openly serving in the military. there was of course that negotiation that took place, the don't ask, don't tell policy through clinton.
and i remember seeing him. there were protests that were swarming around the campus. i convinced my photographer to jump over a set of bushes to get to him. when we cleared the bushes, right in front of him, startled him, i couldn't speak. he looked at me. i looked at him. and he just said, "well, hello." it really just floored me because i couldn't speak at all. i had all my questions and i froze at that moment looking at this kind of brilliant smile and very imposing figure. but he just smiled at me. eventually i got my thoughts together, was able to challenge him a little bit on that policy, which he had since repealed, the don't ask, don't tell policy. but he did have that electric charm and smile, if you will. wolf, i want to tell you, i'd be remiss not to comment at least about the program taking place right now. this is the organ and brass prelude. you hear the u.s. army brass quintet. if you look at what is on the menu for those to listen to,
going home, band of brothers, "amazing grace," but also "dancing queen." yes. "dancing queen." that might come as a surprise to many people, but he was a tremendous abba fan. he loved abba more than anything else. he loved ka lip toe and bob marley, from his jamaican roots, but abba was his fave are the. i talked to his longtime chavp recently, and she told me this wonderful story about the premiere of "mama mia!" 22 songs, obvious, abba faichvorit. he went to the premiere and there was benjamin netanyahu on one side and donny osmond on the other side. the music played. he went -- he got up out of his seat, went down the aisle, sashayed dancing to "dancing queen." and just to the shock of all
those who were there, they were not allowed to take pictures, so there's really not much documentation of the story, but the funny thing about it was that at the time nobody paid any attention to donny osmond, couldn't care less, and general powell knew all the words to the songs. so he just really was a lot of fun, very eclectic taste in music, entertainment, and really very accessible to folks who knew him. when he was in new york and he was visiting with the u.n., he did not go to those fancy restaurants. he always took his staff and went down to the local hot dog stand, and that is what he did. hoe got a hot dog with mustard and relish and he talked to the immigrants who were there selling those hot dogs, talking to them about their stories, because it was his story, his american story as well. wolf? >> yeah. you're absolutely right. those of us who knew him, he loved those hot dogs in
manhattan and new york city, not just manhattan, the bronx and brooklyn as well. he loved abba. i loved abba as well. something in common. jamie, this is a part of his life that a lot of folks -- you and i know this and john and suzanne -- he loves cars and his volvo. tell us about that. >> i think -- i read that over the years he repaired 35 or 40 cars, especially volvos. if you had a broken volvo, he was the man to go to. and he loved to do it. it's also i think just a tribute to him and the family. this is maybe not a traditional state funeral, but, of course, we have former presidents here and dignitaries, vips, sto secretaries of state, former
secretary of state, but president biden won't speak today, none of the former presidents will speak today. it's at the same time a very personal service that the family has planned out. >> and we're going to hear from his son, michael, as well. michael has had -- still has his own distinguished career. >> absolutely. i actually remember -- it has happy ending, but it was scary and sad at the time -- when michael was in the service, he was in a car accident. john may remember. and he was really hurt, and everyone was worried. and i remember talking to -- i still call him general powell -- >> me too. >> -- at the time. and he was so worried about him. this was a very, very close family. so i didn't know that michael was going to be giving the eulogy until we all found out late last night, but i'm not
surprised. >> yeah. he's an amazing guy, michael. we got to know him well over the years. john, when you see the presidential motorcade will be arriving very soon, the clergy walking in, this is a real, real i guess national funeral that we're watching. >> a tribute to somebody whose career went through so many transformational moments in the country, someone who was a trail blazer himself, and whether you're a democrat or republican or independent watching around the world, the power of optimism. powell used to tell this funny story when he left public service and thinking whether or not to run for president, he traveled, did some speeches, wrote a book, and i was a political reporter at the time. i thought is this guy going to run for president? i snuck around the country to sneak into some events. he tells this story about sitting across the table from gorbachev and gorbachev says, i'm done, we're going to fold the soviet union. and reagan's excited, jim baker is excited, george schultz is
excited. colin powell said his first thought was you can't do this, i spent my entire life training to fight the soviets. what did he do? he learned to do with a new challenge. tim mentioned we don't focus on good news. doesn't get enough attention. think about what happened. the soviet union collapsed. the iron curtain fell. lithuania, latvia, poland, the czech republic, and nothing happened. nothing bad happened, right? because this remarkable national security team managed the world from the reagan administration into the bush administration, and he was part of that because he was optimistic. he used to always joke, all my training was suddenly useless. but he learnedadapted. >> we're looking at former presidents obama and bush, formeform former first ladies. hillary clinton there. bill clinton was in the hospital so he's recovering, i'm sure he's fine. i suspect out of an abundance of caution he decided that maybe he
shouldn't attend this funeral of general powell. >> that's right, wolf. we continue watching the events going on inside the national cathedral as we remember and celebrate the life of colin powell. i was recalling colin powell's autobiography and there was a moment in 1957 where he was a member of rotc at city college in new york and he went down to ft. bragg in north carolina, and there were two things that really struck me, and they both happened in the same trip. one is he excelled. he excelled down there, and that's really where he felt his calling. he didn't know what -- what to -- what to do before he joined rotc. he didn't have any direction in his life, and then the second thing was it was the first time he really encountered racism where he realized that the southern members of the military
at ft. bragg were not going to recognize his excellence and on the way back it was the first time he had ever seen at a gas station separate rest rooms for blacks, and he said he didn't feel safe until he got north of baltimore. that's a lot to experience in one trip and that was the life of colin powell, excellence in the military and also reckoning with racism. >> well, colin powell's life which began in the depression is an american journey with importance to all of us. imagine how hard it is to be the first of anything. i've thought a lot about that in the last few days. if you mess up think of the hosts of the people who want you to succeed and think of the people who don't and will take advantage of the fact that you failed. he was the first in so many
different aspects of our -- of our american life, and he succeeded each and every time. i, when i think of characters, that the general mentions, mark mentions, i think of the character of someone who is willing to put up discrimination not accepted, put up with it, defy it and succeed on his terms and the terms everybody of whatever background would agree to. that was colin powell, and that's what makes him heroic to someone like me. it's -- it's not just the resume. it's the fact that he succeeded each time he was the first and that meant he opened the door. he actually blew open the door for others after him. >> i think it's because he was a good person. there's a great line in an american novel called "once an eagle" where the main character turns to the son of a friend and says if it comes to a choice between being a good soldier or a good human being, be a good
human being because that will make you a great soldier. >> we're hearing some songs from popular culture, just heard i don't know at american 00" by simon & garfunkel. >> he exceeded the duties of citizenship even when the nation was in the breach of the social contract in terms of democracy to him. the experiences he had in north carolina and gaffe, he's telling the world we're here to make the world safe for democracy and he travels and the world in uniform and can't taste that democracy and freedom in certain parts of the very nation he's willing to die for. this is the epitome of what a superlative citizen is and frank lit kind of example that more americans should be. >> he meant to know what it meant to live as an average black man. many black men had that same experience and he was also brave enough to confront his own party to push it to be more inclusive,
and this goes back to, you know, the '90s when he was criticizing reagan and criticizing the first president bush for not being sensitive enough to issues of racively and then in 2008 he chooses barack obama to vote for, partly because. the way the republican party was treating him in the form of racial dog whistles. >> and if i could interrupt, we're listening to bob marley's "three bill birds. "obviously the son of jamaican immigrants, very, very proud of his culture and the jamaican people very, very proud of colin power. here's president biden walking in to honor colin powell. first lady jill biden as well. >> it's not ruffles and
flourishes. >> go ahead. >> let's talk about the speakers that we're going to hear from, because we're going to hear from three, both michael powell who is the son, the only son of colin powell, and he is a former chairman of the federal communications commission president biden meeting his predecessors and first lady jill biden saying hello to the predecessors. >> we've kind of gotten used to seeing this image because we've had several state funerals. john mccain's was like a state funeral and we've had former president and others in recent years, but this is really unusual for sub-like colin powell to have this kind of funeral at the national cathedral. there's just a few non-presidents who have had this kind of event at the national cathedral. >> this is "dancing queen" by be a ba. we know one of general powell's
favorites. let's take a listen. >> knowing the guys in the army quartet, they love doing this. they love to get away from the songs that they normally play. ♪ ♪ >> president biden sitting near his former boss, president barack obama, but anyway, we were talking about the speakers, michael powell, madeleine albright, former secretary of state. obviously colin powell was secretary of state for a republican administration, albright for a democratic one and his former deputy at the department of state, richard arm stage. >> well, madeleine albright speaking is so interesting to me because obviously they were both firsts, and they argued.
they were not aligned in many, many meetings, and she is -- she has talked with this and she's filmous for having said to colin powell if we have a military why don't we use it, and so they came at issues very differently, and she has talked about how, look, you know, she was from -- her views were formed being a child in czechoslovakia. his were formed by vietnam and different senses of when you should use force and how the thresholds should be and they went at each other in meetings. i don't know if they were in the situation room or in the oval office. >> he opposed involvement in the bosnian war. >> that's right. >> and he also did two tours in vietnam. >> that's right. >> which can make someone reluctant to send other men. >> he spoke about that a lot,
you know. so -- so they became great friends but it wasn't borne out of fact that they shared the same views on use of force, an she has said the arguments were great because they can come from such different places and now today, i don't know if she will speak about that or not, but she has been asked to speak at his funeral. >> and to hear from his son, michael powell who served in the clinton administration, who served in the army. what was it like to have to share your father with the world and what kind of personal stories will we hear today? >> we're looking at the director of the foreign policy council dr. susan rice. >> what was it clyke to share your father with the world? what kind of father was he? i imagine he was away a lot and
in some ways he might not have lived up to the kind of father he wanted to be, so it will be fascinating to hear the remembrances of his son who had to share his father with -- with the world for much of his life. >> dana, i don't know how much we're going to hear about this from the former deputy secretary of state richard armitage who was powell's deputy at the department of state during the bush here's but pole has been rather candid about how his testimony before the united nations was in his words a blot on his record and how he became increasingly isolated among the bush foreign policy team in the buildup and waging of the war in walk. >> yeah. general hertling, all of you have talked about the character of colin powell, and it's hard to think of something that speaks to that as somebody who stands up and says flatly i was wrong. i was wrong in such a big way when we went to the united
nations and thargued that there were weapons of mass destruction in iraq and there weren't. >> he said he was misled by the intelligence community. >> and he talked a lot about how and why that happened but ultimately it was him. it was his credibility that he knew he was putting on the line and it backfired. >> these are the grandchildren and children of colin powell walking into the national cathedral being led. for them, we have to remember he was not just a symbol. he was not just a diplomat or a general, not somebody whose views are to be debated. he was a beloved father and grandfather by all accounts, a warm and wonderful man and presence in their lives even if they did have to share him with the rest of us.
rare event in american politics. usually such tributes are reserved for major political figures like presidents or presidential nominees, candidates, like senator john mccain, like george h.w. bush. this is a rather remarkable event, but he was such a bipartisan figure and so beloved. here is the casket bearing former secretary of state and retired general colin powell. >> forward march.
>> right, left. right, left. right, left. right, left. right, left. right, left. right, left. right, left. right, left. >> the congregation may stand as you are able. with faith in jesus christ, we receive the body of our brother colin luther powell for burial. let us pray with confidence to god, giver of life, that he will
raise him to perfection in the company of the saints. deliver your servant, colin, o sovereign lord christ from all evil and set him free from every bond, that he may rest with all your saints in the eternal habitations where with the father and the holy spirit you live and reign one god forever and ever. amen. >> let us also pray for all who mourn, that they may cast their care on god and know the consolation of his love. almighty, god, look with pity upon the sorrows of your servants for whom we pray. remember them, lord, in mercy, nourish them in patience,
comfort them with a sense of your goodness. lift up your countinence upon them and give them peace. through jesus christ our lord, amen. >> right, left. right, left. right, left. right, left. right, left. right, left. right, left. right, left. right, left. right, left. right, left. right, left. right, left. right, left. right, left.
and whatsoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. i know that my redeemer liveth, that he shall stand at the latter day, and though this body be destroyed, and yet shall i see for myself, and mine eyes shall be wholed and not as a stranger for none of us liveth to themself and no one dieth to thyself for if we live, we live unto the lord, and if we die, we die unto the lord.
>> good afternoon. my name is randy hollereth and i'm the dean of washington national cathedral and on behalf of mary and buddy, the bishop and diocese of washington and michael curry, the presiding bishop of the episcopal church. welcome, welcome to this house of prayer for all people. it is indeed an onnor for us to host this service for colin powell. to mrs. powell, michael, ann, linda and the entire powell family, our hearts are with you
and with all those across our country and indeed around the world who grieve the loss of an american leader and patriot. today we give colin luther powell back to the god who gave him to us. while we mourn his death, our faith tells us that there is indeed life beyond the grave and that god never lets us go. so as the old prayer says we gather to give thanks for all the goodness and courage that have passed through colin powell's life into the lives of others. for his loyalty to his country and his love of the good and for all those noble qualities of mind and soul that endeared him to so many. he lived a life of service, and he was a great blessing to all who knew him. in the words of saint paul he fought the good fight, and he
>> well, good afternoon. i'm going to break protocol just a little bit and acknowledge alma powell, michael and jane powell, linda powell ann marie and francis and the grandchildren. we're here for your father, your husband, your granddaddy and quite a turnout it is. if i may, president biden, dr. biden, thank you very much for your attendance, particularly after the arduous trip. president obama, mrs. obama, thank you so much for being here, and thank you for leading our nation for eight years with wit, wisdom and dignity, and president and mrs. bush, thank you so much for being here. you led our nation through the horror of 9/11, did not let us take counsel of our fears and brought us out the other side in this war on terror, thank you,
and mrs. clinton, so what do i say, do i say first lady or do i say secretary clinton or senator clinton, i think i just contempt myself by saying we thank you for your years of service to our nation, and you know of colin's affection for you. eleanor roosevelt wrote if at the end one can say this man used to the limit the powers that god granted him, he was worthy of love and respect and of the sacrifices of many people made in order that he might achieve what he deemed to be his task, then that life has been lived well and there are no regrets. does that sound like somebody you know? seems like the husband, the father and the grandfather of the powell family right here. people asked me how did you
develop a 40-year friendship with secretary powell, general powell and then it was colonel powell? well, you have two disgruntled multi-tour combat vets who are not happy with the way we conducted the war and certainly not happy with the way we left and delighted to be part of a new administration which was coming in to develop not only the weapons system we needed but redevelopment morale that our nation needed so much, so that was a natural bonding thing. one day i asked general powell, i think he was major general at the time. i said what's the secret to leadership >> reporter: how do you know a good leader? he said, well, you know, you see some people and they look great, look great in the uniforges but fact of the matter is that they can't lead a horse to water. there are other people who look like unmade bed and yet they can lead people anywhere, and he
said the trait i get you would want to see in a leader is someone whose troops would follow him or her anywhere, anywhere, but if only out of curiosity and somebody who would follow him hand her just to see where the heck he's going. i asked general powell one day what he learned in the army, what's the most important thing he learned, and he said the most important thing he learned was in rotc when he learned about the first general order which cautions a sentry to take charge of its post, all government property in sight and stand his post until properly relieved, but in his interpretation that didn't mean you stood at the px which was warm, a lot of friendly faces going by. yeah, you did that, that was part of your duty but how about the motor pool and how about the repair shops. they are part of your duty, too. you can't get to pick and choose what you like better.
he extended to the people he would say i extend the first order of people. we're all human. some we like better than others, but if you're in charge you can't show t.colin would always would end that comment by saying we all need to treat everyone with a little bit more kindness than we think they deserve because we don't know what's going on in their lives. you know, i'm going to quickly throw out three anecdotes for you. this is a celebration. it's a celebration of a life, and i want to kind of fill that picture of colin powell out a little bit, and i'm going to try to tie together his sense of humor, his insatiable curiosity and his comfort in his own skin. one day i was upstairs in the pentagon two floors above then
chairman powell, and he buzzed me and asked can i come down? sure. i'll be right down, so i rolled down the two flights of stairs into his office and nancy huse who was at the door she said go right on there. they are expecting you. well i wasn't expecting a them but i went on in and there was a boom box playing. it was a circle of very tall gentlemen that also included general powell. it was the harlem globetrotters, and the boom box was playing "sweet georgia brown" and they were passings the ball around and i'm not unfamiliar with the basketball court back when i could really walk, i won't say run but really walk so they asked me to join the circle and i did, but every time one of the globetrotters would pass the ball to secretary powell, he's fumble it, he'd drop it. it would fall to the floor. so finally one of the globetrotters switched off the boom box and said, what's up
with you? we throw you the ball and you drop it, and without a grin, without a grimace he looked straight at that globetrotter and said, well, you were out shooting hoops i was stealing hubcaps. [ laughter ] the globetrotter said that was all right. flipped the boom box back on and it was "sweet georgia brown" time again. i said he had an insatiable curiosity, nothing made secretary powell happier than to sneak away from his security detail. does that sound familiar to anyone here and when he would do it in the state department it would japan be followed by a call to me on the cell saying i'm free, i broke out, and then he would tell me where he was because it wouldn't be long before security would be going crazy. well, this day found him down in the park lot of the state department. there was a huge underground parking lot, and he walked up to
an attendant who by the way i'm not sure who knew that this was the secretary of state and the secretary said i've always wondered something. how do you figure out who gets in the front row or the second row which means you can egress roughly by the time you thought you were going to egress and who gets in the back row because that will take 40 minutes? he said it's very easy. people come in and say good morning or it's snowing out there or traffic is bad today. we put them in the front row, the second row. if they come in with a window wound up, won't look right or left and driving on past, 40 minutes and then they can get out. they will be in the back row. this nugget was so enlightening to secretary powell that he made bold to ask about the certain members of hierarchy in the state department. you'll have to guess. i'm not going to tell you who. the majority of them got through
in the first and second row but then a couple actually ended up time and again in the back row. well, the third anecdote that i was going to say had to do with secretary powell, general powell, colin, c.p., however you knew him and as secretary of state, and visiting the foreign minister of sweden was in and she came in with her entourage to a very well appointed office and she knew of secretary powell's affection for abba, and she knew of secretary powell's affection for volvos so she opened up a full cd set of ana a -- of abba and colin went down on one knee and sang an entire "mamma mia" to a very mused foreign minister of sweden and to the gobsmacked u.s.
delegation who had never seen anything like it. well our tastes in music were not very similar, colin and mine you're except for one. every saturday afternoon at 5:00 we would listen to wpfw in washington. this is pacifica radio, people's radio. don't tell anybody who investigates us for security clearances because this is liberation radio, if you will, and there was a show at 5:00 in the afternoon hosted by mr. von martin and it's called caribbeana" and that's one of the things we really liked, whether it was bob marley and we'll hear more about that later, marley, the swallow, and we really had great -- that one music taste. colin loved the church. he loved the ceremony. he love the liturgy and he loved the high hymns. this made him extremely happy
and as alma knows every day at 7:00 or 7:05 i would call him or he'd call me. we'd get our days red except on sunday. on sunday i'd call at 9:30, and he would answer the same way every sunday. he would say oh, yes, i was at church and i want you to know that i'm in the state of grace, and i would answer the same way every sunday. home, if you're not in the state of grace who among us is, and that was every day for almost 40 years, the same opening remarks. well, i grew up in the south, and my taste in hymns is a little different from secretary powell's, and my favorite hymn is one by the reverend f.c. barnes. he sings it with his wife and it's called "coming up on the rough side of the mountain." it's got three verses and two chorusses.
i'm just going to submit you to the third verse. this old race will soon be over. there will be no more race to run. and i will stand before god's throne, owl my heartaches will be gone. i'll hear my savior say welcome home. be real quiet. listen real carefully, and you might hear our savior say colin, welcome home and here's your starry crown, and finally, a message to alma and the kids. he was a very busy father, a very busy husband, huge responsibilities. as i say, i've talked to him once, sometimes 15 times a day for 40 years. never in 40 years do i recall him ever failing to either start or end his day by telling what
alma was doing, what michael and jane were doing what, linda was doing and what anne marot and francis were doing, what the grandkids were doing and the reason that i mention this is because i think as a husband, as a father, as a friend, i don't think we share often enough how we really feel with our family. sometimes i think we take it for granted, but i want you to know that he didn't take it for granted. every morning or ink heard about it, so god bless cole condition. bless the powell family and god bless us all. thank you.
>> president biden, president ob obama, president bush, second clinton, leaders, distinguished guests, we've lost a friend. alma and michael and anne marie, the family, i'm grateful to be able to share my thoughts in this hour of celebration and remembrance. in 1993 when i began serving as america's ambassador to the u.n. general colin powell was already in his final months as chairman of the joint chiefs of staff. at white house meetings, i came equipped with a yellow pad. he brought a laser pointer and an array of multi-colored slides. 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. on policy the general and i didn't always reach the same conclusions, and in fact he would later recount that one of my comments almost gave him an aneurysm. although we were the same age he and i were shaped by different experiences and had different ideas and represented different departments, but over the past quarter century we also became very close friends, an experience i know that i have in common with many of you. the reason is that beneath that glossy exterior of warrior statesman 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 and loyalty and an unshakeable commitment to his
calling and word. these were the same traits he saw tirelessly to instill in the soldiers under his command, the diplomat he led, the colleagues with whom he worked, the readers of his books, the audiences that flocked to his speeches, the students of the powell school for civic and global leadership and the thousands of young people who benefited from the america's promise alliance that alma and he championed. he relished the opportunity to connect with other generations, and it's always the right time, he told us, and i quote, to reach out to someone who is wanting to look up and to each in our own way to help put that fellow american on the road to success. a first rate listener and in government the ultimate team player, colin was nevertheless always true to himself. he could not be moved by any threat or attempting promise to
depart from what he felt was right. he had a code instilled by his immigrant parents, honed by army tradition and nurtured by more than half a century of marriage. he was also guided by conscience that unlike many never slept. colin was incredibly cool. people in public life tend to hypervent late. we open our mouths and the superlatives just gush forth, greatest deal, biggest disaster ever face each issue offered a choice between utopia and per dimpingts over the decades i sat in many meetings with colin where i could almost hear his eyes roll. when it was his turn to speak, he was brilliant at bringing over the moon claims down to earth and distilling what truly mattered from what did not. his effectiveness was magnified by his lack of interest in racking up partisan debating
points or improving how macho he could be as a negotiator. he cared only about achieving results and somehow through the strength of his personality he made praktism charismatic. colin powell's legacy of service to the country he loved will long survive his passing, from rescuing to fellow soldiers while in combat to presiding over the rollback of aggression in the middle east to orchestrating after 9/11 a global alliance against al qaeda, to modernizing the practice of diplomacy, he devoted the full measure of his energy and skills to advancing national interests and to the common god. and he did so in the right way which is why the army loved him, why his adversaries respected him and why within the state department he was far more popular than his predecessor.
i remember the day his nomination as secretary of state was announced because colin drove himself, having escaped the service, over to my house so we could begin planning a smooth transition. amid the rancor over the 2000 election he was determined to set the right example. there's a photo taken a few days later which shows him arriving at the state department, and we're laughing and on the cusp of a warm embrace. i treasure that picture because it captures our relationship that had grown from one of mutual respect to one of mutual affection. it did help that we both had a sense of humor. in his memoir he recalled that during one session on bosnia where i was advocating the use of force, he had felt compelled to explain to me patiently the military's proper role. when the book came out he sent me a copy inscribed patiently
yours, colin, and when i replied i signed my note of thanks, forcefully yours, madeleine. we really did become the closest of friends, traveling together to speeches and having coffee at his beloved cafe ogy. we talked about the gratitude in our country, our pride in our families and our distaste of aging. he offered me plenty of advice. the last time i saw him he instructed me to count each step in order to avoid tripping or falling down the stairs. i now do that several times a day and each time i think of colin. this morning my heartaches because we have lost a friend and our nation, one of it finest and most loyal soldiers, yet even as we contemplate the magnitude of our loss we can
loving home anchored by our strong and graceful mother alma. our parents taught us right. they taught us wrong, and they taught us to take responsibility for our actions and never to blame others. disappointing them was the worst punishment you could imagine. my father is frequently remembered as a problem-solver while his solutions to world problems may have been elegant. his fixes around the house were a bit more clugey. he believe he could cheaply fix anything with a little duct tape, some wire and a can of spray paint. he'd even propose a solution for a nonexistent problem just to satisfy his curiosity about how something worked, like the time in high school he decided that
my cherished 1962 chevy impala was making a noise. it definitely was not making a noise. nonetheless he pursued the phantom sound by pulling the engine, something he never had done before. spent a whole weekend hanging chain and hoisting and messing with what knows what. when he put it back together and started it the car whopped like a helicopter. we rushed to the door and saw him back out of driveway with a big proud smile on his face, but that smile faded quickly when he shifted the car too drive and it would never go forward again. [ laughter ] but he was always thinking, so he donated the car to the local fire department. to get it there he literally drove the car backwards on
public roads for three miles smiling at astonished drivers along the way. he liked tinkering. when he was a one-star general living in fortt carson, colorado, he inexplicably became fascinated with mechanical adding machines. he would buy them by the palette at auction and try to get the machines to work. at one point there were so many adding machine he had to store them in the garage refrigerator. i suppose every general needs a signature exindustriesity. george patton had revolvers and colin powell had adding machines. his zest for life derived from his enless passion for people. he was genuinely interested in everyone he met. he loved the hot dog vendor, a bank teller, a janitor and student as much as any world
leader. not long ago he was driving his corvette on the beltway and got a flat tire. a young disabled veteran saw him and pulled over to help. with the tire fixed the young vet veepishly asked if he could take a quick selfie, but my dad took time to ask about his family and his friends and his life, something no instagram moment could ever uncover. a few days later to thank him for his help my father invited the vet and his entire family over to the house for dinner. colin powell was a great leader because he was great follower. he knew you could not ask your troops to do anything you were unwilling to do yourself. one time i was walking into the px with my dad, we came upon a corporal saluting a captain over and over again. my father walked up and asked this captain what he was doing.
the captain replied, sir, this corporal failed to salute me so i'm making him salute me 100 times. my dad said that's fine, but you make darn sure you salute him back every single time. the exchange of salutes is a sign of mutual respect. he loved the troops with all his heart. the morning i was flying to germany for my first assignment as a new army officer he came into my room to say good-bye. he leaned over and kissed me on the cheek and whispered gently take care of our soldiers. countless people have benefited from his mentorship. he could offer weighty wisdom and a few choice words. i recall when i was chairman of the fcc and having a very rough go in the press i e-mailed and asked maybe i should consider stepping down. the response was swift.
powells don't quit. people will long forgot the issues you're dealing with. they will never forgot how you conduct yourself. then he quoted a passage from thomas jefferson's second inaugural address which reads i have learned to expect that it will rarely fall to the lot of imperfect man to retire from this station with the reputation and the favor which bring him into it. in other words, public service comes at a cost if you're committed to doing the right thing. dollin luther was very proud of his jamaican immigrant heritage and loved his big west indian family. the family was the foundation of his beliefs and the source of never-ending comfort. bringing shame to the family was the cardinal sin. he frequently said don't forgot where you came from. words that call us to remain
grateful, to stay humble and to be brave. "in the road to character" david brooks draws as distinction between resume virtues and eulogy virtues. resume virtues are your achievement and your skills. eulogy virtues are those discussed at your funeral. the ones that exist at tcore of your being whether you're kind, grateful, honest and this person has a solid sense of right and wrong not only to do good but to be good. he wants to love intimately to sacrifice self and the service of others and to live an obedient to some transcendent trust. that was my father. the example of colin pole does not call on us to emulate his resume which is too formidable for mere mortals.
it is to emulate his character and his example as a human being that we can strive to do that. we can choose to be good. >> 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 comes from holding my dad's hand. i was hurt very badly and lying in an icu bed following a bad accident. it was the middle of the night, yet my father was by my side after a long day of work. i was squirming in pain and anguish. without a word he just took my hand and squeezed it with a father's love. it instantly relaxed and put me
at peace. the last night of his life i walked in to see him. now he was the one lying in an icu bed. he could not see or speak to me. so i took his hand just as he had taken mine decades before, and i knew everything was not going to be okay. i wanted him to be at peace, but, again, i felt my father's love in that hand. that hand that took my mother's hand in matrimony, that hand that held me as baby, that hand that signed report cards, tossed baseballs and fixed old cars, that hand that signed treaties and war orders, saluted service
members and just fguestered joyfully when he told a story that. hand is still now but it left age print on the lives of family and deep friends, soldiers and sailors, generations of prime ministers and generations of aspiring people. emerson today the purpose of life is to be honorable and to be compassionate and to have it make some difference that you have lived happened lived well. my father made a monumental difference. he lived. he lived well. i've heard it asked are we still making his kind? i believe the answer to that question is up to us. to honor his legacy i hope we do more than consign him to the
>> if you're all, i i invite you to stand. >> 9 lord be with you. let us pray. o god whose mercies cannot be numbered, accept our prayers on behalf of thy servant cole condition and grant him an entrance into the land of light and joy and the maloship of thy saints. through jesus christ, this hy son our lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee, one god now
and forever. amen. >> amen. >> almighty god, giver of all comfort, deal graciously with colin's family and friends in their grief. surround them with thy love, that they may not be overwhelmed by their loss but have confidence in thy goodness and strength to meet the days to come. through jesus christ our lord, amen .
a reading from the prophet micah. >> with what shall i come before the lord and bow myself before god on high. shall i come before him with burnt offerings, with calves a year old? will the lord be pleased with thousands of rams, with 10,000 rivers of oil. shall i give my first born for my transgression. the fruit of my body for the sin
of my soul. he has told you old mortal what is good and what does the lord require of you but to do justice and to love kindness. and to walk humbly with your god. the word of the lord. >> thanks be to god. >> i live up my eyes to the hills from where is my help to come. >> he will not let your foot be moved and who who watches over you will not fall asleep.
could count. from every nation, from all the tribes and peoples and languages standing before the throne and before the lamb robed in white with palm branches in their hands. this cried out and loud voice saying salvation belongs to our god who was seated on the tloench and to the lamb, and all the angels stood around the throne and around the elders and the four living creatures and they fell on their faces before the throne and worshipped god singing amen, bless them in glory and wisdom and thanksgiving and horror and power an might be there forever and ever amen. then one of the elders addressed me who are these robed in white and where have they come from?
and i said to him, sir, you are the one that knows. but these are they who have come out of the great ordeal. they have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the lam. for this reason. they are before the throne of god and worship him day and night within the temple and the who unis seated on the throne shall shelter them and they will hunger no more and thirst no more. the sun will not strike them nor any scorching heat where the lamb of the center of the thrown will be their shepard and he will guide them to the springs of the water of life and god will wipe away every tear from their eyes, the word of the lord. >> thanks be to god.
john. jesus told his disciples do not let your hearts be troubled. believe in god. believe also in me, and my father's house there are many dwelling places. if it were not so, would i have told you that i go to prepare a place for you, and if i go and prepare a place for you, i will come again and will take you to myself so that where i am there you may be also. and you know the way to the place where i am going. thomas said to him, lord, we do not know where you are going. how can we know the way? jesus said to him i am the way and the truth and the life. no one comes to the father except through me.
the gospel of the lord. >> praise to thee, lord christ. >> come, holy spirit, bless us with your healing grace, in the name of the father, son, and holy spirit. amen. please be seated. mrs. powell, anne marie, linda, michael, your children and all the family, today, today we stand in solidarity with you before the mystery of life and
death and say in our prayers and farewell to colin luther powell, son, loving husband, devoted father, grandfather, friend, soldier, counsellor to presidents, senior statesman, man of peace shs child of god. i pray you will feel us holding you up in this time, but most importantly, the loving arms of god around you all. and i hope that also in this brief span of time in memory and honor of your beloved colin, we may know ourselves are more
united as americans. the measure of colin powell's life, this good and great man, is more than any one person can fully take in or tell. these heartfelt moving and pointed tributes took us a long way, and so your presence here today as you stand with his family, all of you, your memories and indeed even the person you are is now a part of that larger mosaic that tells of the life of colin powell. the love and years you shared as family are forever with you, imprinted deep within your hearts, and the impact of colin's life on you, his friends, colleagues and this
nation revealed the fullest picture that we can have you know the ways he informed and influenced you, whether up close or through historical events. this man had a discernible gift to protect warmth, gravitas and goodness which called us all to our better selves. to strive for the good and the just, to face fully and to duty and with integrity resolve in benevolence to carry it out. you all have memories of colin powell in heart and mind, treasure and share them, but most importantly place them before god in gratitude, before god who created the wonder and mystery of all creation, gave
you the last breath you drew and who gave colin life from the first the first and receives it back again. the great 20th century rabbi abraham joshua heshel was once asked what is the most important thing a religious person can do, and his answer was given in one word, remember. . that is what we do this day. it is what we do as religious people every time we gathering that we hear gennifer flowers and again the sacred stories of encountering god, ancient and cherished, stories about god is inf-able, in mystery yet still revealed to our fragile and mortal humanity. we remember god's saving love for the human race and in that act of remembering together, the god of life and giver of every
good gift is present to us just as in this moment. . this god is the one who raised up and delivered israel out of bondage in egypt fulfilling ancient promises and who raised jesus from the dead into resurrection life. colin knew this god through all his years, his faith was of first importance, and his life was marked by those words of the prophet micah. he has showed you, o man, what is good, to do justice, to do justice and to walk kindness and to walk humbly with your god. . the god who gathers and comforts us is a god of comfort and mercy who seeks to lift up all who seek him those who grieve, the
lost, the weary, forgotten, the vulnerable and poor and all in the margins of life. and god wants you to know that in every circumstance of life that you, our beloved, whoever you are, whatever you are, whatever you've done, god looks at you today and he loves you. this is the god we know, who loves fiercely, who traffic in life and death and is known in every dimension of life even in the cross-currents of the emotions we experience today. . there was the beginning of conversations, just the slightest of pauses, a
recalibrating of the heart and mind and a realization that we were now talking about a member of the family, respected, admired and loved. former secretary of state condoleezza rice captured this saying colin loved soldiers and always held them to the highest standards, yet he also took time to understand their struggles, personal and professional and to comfort them when they suffered. the military was his second family and he cherished the opportunities that it had given him and others. do you hear what is at the heart of this? this might seem new or unusual to you, but those who serve together in the profession of
arms, especially when in harm's way come to know that there is a component of love in that bond and one that you actually depend on. i discovered this personally in 2005 and '06 deploying into the persian gulf as an army chaplain. general colin powell was the epitome of this reality. and truth. recently a dear friend eric motley, a younger african-american man who grew up as a young boy in madison park, alabama, on land that had been ceded to the ancestors of slaves shared this memory with me. when i was in high school, my
grandmother gave me a photo of general powell adorned with a chest full of medals and prompting me. you need not look far for your own hero. i carried that photo all through school and have it to this day. after reading general powell's book "my american journey" in college, eric said for the first time in my life i found myself and all i wanted to be, and all these years later i still do my best to imitate the man himself, trying to make my life journey as good and honorable and centered or service. i have held a light to his life, and it has been a true affirmation of faith. i've often wondered how many young men an especially young
black men were given that book accompanied by the same admonition you need not look far for a hero. there are many loves. we recount this day and all the tributes that we've heard and the ones that are deep in your hearts. his beloved wife, children, family and friends, those in the profession of arms, colleagues and untold numbers of men and women across our nation, many loves, but i am here to speak with you about an even greater love. we are here today because of a person, and that person is the man in the glory, jesus christ.
in him the greatest love ever known was given to the world. we know this most supremely in christ's life and death and resurrection climaxing on too easter morning. each gospel varies in telling of those last days of his life, providing both a voracity and a stereoscopic truth unparalleled in all of literature. in his last hours, as jesus was tried, mocked, beaten, humiliated, crucified and spiked to hisios, he took into himself all the sins of humanity past, present and future.
his closest disciples fled in fear to hide being but finally strong women came to his tomb. there god had acted a cosmos-altering explosion of divine light and life was released, surging at god's command and breaking that three-day canopy of silence and from that tomb jesus rose to new life, resurrection life and all creation rises with him. in that newly beheld radiance that is without analogy, sins are forgiven.
death is vanquished forever. god raised jesus so that you and i might share in his resurrection, and if you turn to him and accept him in faith he will come into you and raise you into that new and eternal life now. just as he has for your beloved colin who now stands upon another shore and in a greater light with that multitude of saints that no mortal can number. in colin's last hours his loving family went to him in the evening at walter reed to say
good-bye. in the pre-dawn he took his last breaths, fell asleep and awakened into the heart of god. and now colin knows intimately of what the 17th century anglican priest and poet john dunn wrote. bring us, o lord, god, at our last awakening into that household and gate of heaven. to enter into that gate and dwell in that housing, where there shall be no darkness nor dazzling but one equal light, no noise nor silence but one equal music. no fears, no hopes, but one
equal possession. no ends nor beginnings but one equal eternity in the habitation of thy glory and dominion. colin, may you gaze upon our lord face to face. may angels surround you and saints welcome you in peace and may your heart and soul ring out in joy to the living god in whose presence you are held forever. may god bless yo u all.
♪ how great, how great, how great, how great thou art ♪ >> amen. amen. as you are able, please stand. in the assurance of eternal life given at baptism, let us proclaim our faith and say i believe in god, the father almighty, creator of heaven and earth. i believe in jesus christ, his only son, our lord.
he was conceived by the power of the holy spirit and born of the virgin mary. he suffered under pontius pilate, was crucified, died and was buried. he descended to the dead. on the third day he rose again. he ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of the father. he will come again to judge the living and the dead. i believe in the holy spirit, the holy catholic church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the regulars rex of the body, and the life everlasting, amen. and now as our savior christ has taught us, we are bold to say our father, who art in heaven. hallowed by thy name. thy kingdom come, thy will be
done on earth as it is heaven. give us this day, our daily bred, and forgive us our tress pazzes as we forgive those who torrez pass against us and lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil for thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever and ever. amen. >> in peace, let us pray to the lord. almighty god who has knit together thine elect in one communion and fellowship, in the mystical body of thy son, christ, our board, grant we beseech these to thy whole church in paradise and on earth, thy light and thy peace. amen. grant that all who have been baptized into christ's death and resurrection may die to sin and rise to newness of life and that
through the grave and gate of death we may pass with him to our joyful resurrection. amen. grant to us who are still in our pilgrimage and who walk as yet by faith, that thy holy spirit may lead us in holiness and righteousness all our days. grant to thy faithful people pardon and peace, that we may be cleansed from all our sins and serve thee with a quiet mind. >> amen. >> grant to all who mourn a sure confidence in thy fatherly care, that casting all their grief on thee, they may know the consolation of thy love. >> amen. >> help us, we pray, in the midst of things we cannot understand to believe and to trust in the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins and the resurrection to life
everlasting. amen. grant to us to entrust colin to thy never failing love. receive him into the arms of thy mercy and remember him according to the favor which thou barest unto thy people. grant that increasing in knowledge and love of thee, he may go from strength to strength in the life of perfect service in thy heavenly kingdom. grant us who have died in the hope of the resurrection to have our consummation and bliss in thy eternal and everlasting glory and with all thy saints to receive the crown of life which thou does promise to all who share in the victory of thy son, jesus christ, who liveth and reigneth with this and the holy spirit, one god forever and ever. amen .
>> give rest, o christ, to thy servant with thy saints. >> where sorrow and pain are no more, neither sign but love everlasting. >> thy only art immortal, the creator and maker of mankind and we are mortal, formed of the earth and unto earth shall we return. for so thou did ordain when they createst me saying d dust tho art and unto dust shall return to earth. all we go down to the dust. yet even at the grave we make our song, alleluia, alleluia ,
alleluia. >> and to thy hands our merciful servant we command thy servant colin. acknowledge, we humbly beseech thee, a sheep of thy known fold, a lamb of thine own flock, a sinner of thine redeeming. receive him into the arms of thy mercy, into the blessed rest of everlasting peace and into the glorious company of the saints in light. >> amen. >> now go forth into the world in peace. be strong and of good courage. hold fast to that which is good. rend it to no one evil for evil and love your lord, o god. love your neighbor and love yourself. the blessing of god almighty the
powell. she is recovering from covid herself. although her illness was not as severe obviously as her late husband's. one could not help but be moved by so much of the ceremony, but really michael powell, general powell's only son, and his voice cracking and the love and admiration he felt for his father so clear. he really, i think, was the most compelling speaker of the day. >> i absolutely agree. it is a beautiful ceremony but the words of michael powell brought home the man colin powell was when the uniform came off. he talks about he grew up under the stars but then doesn't mention that part of his life. only talks about dad. and that is one of the most
under-appreciated part of american military strength is the military family and to have his son be able to eulogize him and to have his grandkids present is a testament to the strength that those who serves are often families and the sacrifices that those families make. every promotion is a family disruption. every move is a disruption for the family and they are the rock that keeps our military together. >> and general hurt lipg, that was some that we heard, as well as michael powell, making it clear there was not a military tile order to their family life at home. they were awakened in the morning by revelry, there was some chaos like any family, i suppose. >> i could understand that. i've lived that with our own family. you know, jake, the interesting piece of this, i'll agree with the commander, this was a
ceremony that brought various atmosphere as pecks of government together but it also showed how he was the perfect person for the time he lived in. that that the back and forth made him a true soldier statesman at critical times, in the '80s and '90s and early 2000s, he was there and he had the strength of the family but he also had the background of bouncing back and forth from command in korea and brigade command in the 101st and core command in germany, four star command in the united states where you put together the active reserve and national guard and then asked to act in desert storm which was critical event of his life early on that made him so successful and those
of us knew and served with him in the desert that first time knew he was applying that doctrine which was built on scar tissue and scabs and understanding of the government. just really brought it home today how each one of those factors contributed to the person he was. >> and the legend, stated a clear objective, if going to go to war, build public support and use overwhelming force. a doctrine that was used when he was chairman of the joint chiefs in panama and in the first gulf war and has not really been seen since. >> think one of the key elements of greatness is learning from mistakes. and general powell learned from vietnam. he was responsible for -- with vietnam but he learn the mistakes and saw what happened. an when he had power and
influence, he tried to shape our military and more importantly how our civilians viewed our military so that vietnams would be less likely in the future. of course he then has a later term in government. and i've often wondered whether that last term, as a serve ant our nation was most difficult because he saw many of the lessons that he taught people about vietnam unlearned in the war on terror. >> i just want to say something about the service today which i think reflected him in so many ways. because if you look at these pictures, it is grand. it is a grand service, but it wasn't grandiose. it was -- the presidents were sitting there but they weren't speaking. his best friend spoke. his colleagues spoke. and you know i think that -- and obviously his son. but i think that it was
reflective of somebody who was a true public servant but didn't want to be on a pedestal. and he was a soldier, he was a father, and he was devoted to the country. and he didn't need to be eulogized by presidents, but he was eulogized by people who meant so much to him. >> right. >> and you look at this now and of course it is at the washington national cathedral but it is -- >> it gets back to what you said, he was apolitical. you bounced back and forth between the republican and democratic party. it wasn't about who he was serving, other than the nation. >> let's liste n in