Watch CBS News

Colorado Lawmakers Honor Colin Powell as 'Trailblazer' Who Broke Racial Barriers

(CBS4) - President Biden has ordered flags be flow at half-staff until October 22 to honor General Colin Powell, the first Black American to serve as National Security Advisor, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and Secretary of State.

He died at the age of 84 from complications of COVID-19 Monday morning.

The general joined the U.S. Army after graduating from college in 1958. Powell's 35 year military career took him around the world including Vietnam, West Germany and South Korea.

In the early 1980s, he was stationed at Fort Carson Army Base in Colorado where he was the deputy to the commander of the 4th Infantry Division before being reassigned to Fort Leavenworth, KS.

The Republican is being recognized as a trailblazer around the world. That includes Colorado's Congressional Delegation.

Rep. Joe Neguse is the first African American member of Congress in Colorado history. The Democrat represents the 2nd District and tweeted out a quote from Powell: "Believe in America with all your heart and soul, with all of your mind ... You are its inheritors and its future is today placed in your hands." Neguse went on to tweet "A true trailblazer whose service to our country broke many racial barriers. Rest in Peace Colin Powell."

Rep. Jason Crow was an Army Ranger who represents District 6 as a Democrat and remembered the general's military service, tweeting "Secretary Powell was a trailblazer and an inspiration to a generation of military and civil servants. We thank him for his lifetime of service. America mourns his passing. My thoughts are with his wife Alma, their family, and friends."

Rep. Ken Buck who represents District 4 also honored Powell's achievements, tweeting "RIP to Colin Powell, a trailblazer. Our prayers are with his family."

From the Western Slope, 3rd District Republican Rep. Lauren Boebert tweeted, "Colin Powell lived an exemplary life of service. May his family be comforted in knowing that his life and legacy lives on."

Democratic Rep. Ed Perlmutter who represents District 7 also noted Powell's legacy, tweeting "With the passing of Secretary Powell, our country mourns the loss of a decorated Veteran and a remarkable and dedicated public servant. His service to our country will always be remembered. My deepest condolences go to his family and friends."

Democratic Senator and former Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper offered words of thanks, tweeting "Colin Powell was a dedicated public servant and role model for many. We are all very grateful for his deep devotion to this country."

Denver Mayor Michael Hancock mentioned the theme of Powell and breaking barriers, tweeting "Today we lost a distinguished public servant, Gen. Colin Powell. Throughout his lifetime of service, he broke barriers as the first African American to serve as Nat'l Security Advisor, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs & Sec. of State, and helped shape U.S. foreign policy for decades."

Powell was fully vaccinated but he was 84 years old and battled other health ailments including being treated for multiple myeloma, a type of blood cancer that affects white blood cells and can severely compromise the immune system. His wife, who was also fully vaccinated, also contracted COVID but has recovered.

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.