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Whitmer, Gilchrist honor lifetime of distinguished service from Colin Powell

Former secretary of state and chairman of the joint chiefs of staff died Monday morning from COVID-19

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Gretchen Whitmer, Garlin Gilchrist II

LANSING, Mich. (WJRT) - Michigan’s top elected officials are fondly remembering the lifetime of public service from Colin Powell, who died Monday morning from COVID-19 complications.

Powell was the U.S. secretary of state under President George W. Bush. Before that, Powell served as chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, as national security adviser and was a retired U.S. Army general.

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer noted that Powell’s military career started with deployment during the Vietnam War before he moved on to national security and diplomacy roles under Presidents Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton and George W. Bush.

“Secretary Powell embodied values we all strive to live by: fidelity, independence, and humility,” Whitmer said. “My thoughts are with his family and all those who looked up to him as a soldier, a leader and an American.”

Lt. Gov. Garlin Gilchrist II recalled Powell’s “lifetime of distinguished service” as the first Black secretary of state and chairman of the joint chiefs of staff.

“For so many, he was a symbol of the heights to which anyone can rise in America,” Gilchrist said. “In the example of his leadership and devotion to public service, he will continue to inspire future generations.”

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