Huntington Supervisor Chad A. Lupinacci directed that all flags on town properties be flown at half-staff on Tuesdat to honor former Secretary of State Colin Powell, who passed away on Monday.
“Colin Powell was a widely respected patriot, born in Harlem to Jamaican immigrants, and his impressive achievements demonstrated the opportunities available to all Americans. Colin Powell dedicated his entire life in service to his country and broke many barriers as a Black American and we mourn his loss with the rest of the nation,” Lupinacci said.
Powell served for 35 years in the military, beginning as a second lieutenant in the U.S. Army. Powell served two tours in Vietnam and was awarded the Purple Heart and the Bronze Star during his first tour. On his second tour, he rescued his fellow soldiers from a burning helicopter despite being injured himself and was awarded the Soldier’s Medal. In total he received 11 military decorations, including the Legion of Merit. He went back to military service as a battalion commander in Korea, and was promoted to brigadier general, commanding a brigade of the 101st Airborne Division. Powell served as an assistant to the deputy secretary of defense, and to the secretary of energy. He was promoted to major general.
Powell worked in the White House Office of Management and Budget under President Richard M. Nixon. He was appointed by President Ronald Reagan as the first Black national security adviser, appointed by President George H.W. Bush as the nation’s youngest and first Black chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, overseeing 28 crises, including Operation Desert Storm in 1991, and after founding America’s Promise Alliance, an organization aimed to help at-risk children, he was appointed by President George W. Bush and served as the United States’ first Black Secretary of State.
Powell, who was 84, was being treated for a blood cancer when he died Monday from complications of Covid-19.