WASHINGTON – The Very Rev. Randolph Marshall Hollerith, dean of Washington National Cathedral, issued the following statement following the death of former Secretary of State Colin Powell on Oct. 18, 2021:
Washington National Cathedral joins the nation in mourning the death of Secretary Colin Powell, and in giving thanks for a life spent in dedicated service to the United States.
An immigrant son of Harlem and the Bronx, Powell was the consummate citizen soldier, with decades of service that spanned from Vietnam to the desert sands of Iraq. As a four-star general and chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, he was beloved and respected by the brave men and women under his command.
Later in his career, Powell laid down the weapons of war to pursue a calling as a diplomat and peace-maker, and his America’s Promise initiative rallied Americans around the duty to promote the potential of the nation’s under-served youth.
Beyond his military and diplomatic success, Secretary Powell became a universally respected north star on the nation’s moral compass. Now, in this moment of painful polarization, we mourn the loss of his idealism, his non-partisan patriotism, his decency and his call to put America above personal ambition.
Almost more than any other contemporary figure, he modeled what it means to serve with honor and integrity, anchored by a core belief in the goodness of the American people and the bravery of her military families and veterans.
Together with all the saints of God, we pray for the Powell family in their grief. We pray that God will raise up a new generation of leaders to model the grace and generosity of this beloved public servant. But most of all, we pray that America will find the courage and capacity to be the nation that Secretary Powell believed us to be.
“Into your hands, O merciful Savior, we commend your servant Colin. Acknowledge, we humbly beseech you, a sheep of your own fold, a lamb of your own flock, a sinner of your own redeeming. Receive him into the arms of your mercy, into the blessed rest of everlasting peace, and into the glorious company of the saints in light. Amen.”