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The Passing of a Great American Hero

Dear Editor,

As Four-Star General of the United States Army, General Colin Powell recently passed away at the age of 84 of COVID-19, which was complicated even further as a result of his being diagnosed with cancer of the blood, which weakened his immune system even further, even though he had reportedly been fully vaccinated against the coronavirus pandemic.

General Powell, who was born of Jamaican parents in South Bronx, New York, served in the U.S. Army for 35 outstanding years, becoming a general at the age of 42, served in active duty during the Vietnam War.

He later was selected to serve as National Security Advisor under President Ronald Reagan, as Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff under President George H.W. Bush, and as Secretary of State under President George W. Bush, all of which he held with great distinction.

In addition, historically General Powell was the first African-American to serve our great country in the aforementioned positions of national leadership.

General Powell was lauded for his outstanding leadership and oversight during the Gulf War in 1991, as a result of which, U.S. forces drove the Iraqi Army from Kuwait.

However, although General Powell did nave a very stellar career in the military and in public service, he did have one noticeable “blemish,” that being as a result of his Feb. 5, 2003 speech to the United Nations, in which he stated unequivocally that Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein, “no doubt” had weapons of mass destruction, which led to the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq in which no such weapons were ever found.

And, as a result, General Powell later, very much, publicly stated his grave regret for his use of such inflammatory rhetoric that was proven to be inaccurate.

General Powell, who had been a life-long Republican, was highly respected by members of both political parties, and actually supported Democratic Presidential candidates Barack Obama in 2008 and 2013, Hillary Rodham Clinton in 2016, and Joe Biden in 2020.

General Powell, I feel, will historically be remembered for always putting “America First” and we, as a nation, are the better for it.

Richard Hord

Martins Ferry

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