Colin Powell: An inspiration and Wonder


Robert D. Ward

Colin Powell escorting General Klaus Naumann through an Honor Cordon at the Pentagon.

Though born in a rough yet immersive area, Colin Luther Powell made his way through many struggles, challenges, and obstacles to get to where he was now; a former U.S Secretary of State has served on the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Was this career path an easy one? No, but Colin persevered through these endeavors.
Colin Luther Powell grew up in New York City, South Bronx, in the neighborhood of Harlem. A town with a diverse population and culture, his childhood was very interesting for a former member of the government. He went to New York’s public schools as anyone would, but the shocking thing was, he wasn’t a star student. He sometimes even skipped classes. Eventually, he was able to go to Morris High School. Originally studying to become a mechanic, Powell later discovered this wasn’t for him. He then decided to live out his days, trying to find another option. His search ended when the R.O.T.C came. The R.O.T.C, Reserve Officers Training Camp, announced that they would take a few candidates to enlist in the army and help serve their country. Colin Powell had just found what he wanted to do and what would later lead him to be known around the world.
One of Colin’s first big military experiences was fighting in the Vietnam war. It was his first tour, and everything was going smoothly until 1963. He was greatly injured by a trap laid by enemy forces. This did not stop Powell, and on his second tour of Vietnam, the newly promoted Army Major was given the task of investigating the “Mỹ Lai Massacre,” the murder of 300 Vietnamese citizens by American forces. His choices and actions, like saving a few men from a burning helicopter, let him acquire some of the highest medals in the U.S, the Legion of Merit and a Purple Heart.
Through many promotions, conflicts, and confrontations, Powell managed to reach the highest position ever held by an African American. Elected by the senate in 2001, Colin was now the Secretary of State. As per usual, many people were not happy with his choices, even if Powell made bold and wise decisions. One of these included the invasion of Iraq. Three years after the Iraq controversy started, Colin decided to retire.
Though retired, Powell shared his opinion on many important matters and topics. He took a break from military service, participating in a small T.V. series called “Get Motivated.” He offered to be a partner for many people and firms and even helped with the construction of a company centered around physical fitness.
October 18th, 2021, was Colin Luther Powell’s last day on Earth. At 84, he was already struggling with health complications. Colin was not going to last much longer. That was when the violent and careless Covid-19 virus kicked in and ended his life early. Every year of the 84 years he lived was spent helping others and our country. Everyone should remember Colin Powell as a role model and a hero. May he live on in our hearts.