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Photos: Colin Powell remembered as 'great lion with a big heart'

Members of the Honor Guard carry the casket of former Secretary of State Colin Powell at National Cathedral in Washington, D.C.
Members of the Honor Guard carry the casket of former Secretary of State Colin Powell at National Cathedral in Washington, D.C.

Family, friends and dignitaries gathered at the National Cathedral in Washington, D.C. today to pay tribute to former Secretary of State Colin Powell. The retired 4-star general died from complications of COVID-19. He was 84.

Powell served in three presidential administrations. He broke barriers as the first African-American chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and secretary of state.

President Joe Biden, former Presidents Barack Obama and George W. Bush attended.

(Left to right) President Joe Biden and First Lady Dr. Jill Biden attend the service for former Secretary of State Colin Powell along with former President Barack Obama, former First Lady Michelle Obama, former President George W. Bush and former First Lady Laura Bush.
/ Kenny Holston for NPR
(Left to right) President Joe Biden and First Lady Dr. Jill Biden attend the service for former Secretary of State Colin Powell along with former President Barack Obama, former First Lady Michelle Obama, former President George W. Bush and former First Lady Laura Bush.
The National Cathedral was filled with family, friends and dignitaries for the funeral service.
/ Kenny Holston for NPR
The National Cathedral was filled with family, friends and dignitaries for the funeral service.
U.S Army Major General Allan M. Pepin, the Commanding General of Joint Task Forces escorts Gen. Colin Powell's widow Alma after the service.
/ Michael A. McCoy for NPR
U.S Army Major General Allan M. Pepin, the Commanding General of Joint Task Forces escorts Gen. Colin Powell's widow Alma after the service.
Members of the Honor Guard carry the casket. Powell served as secretary of state during the presidency of George W. Bush and led the first Gulf War as chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
/ Michael A. McCoy for NPR
Members of the Honor Guard carry the casket. Powell served as secretary of state during the presidency of George W. Bush and led the first Gulf War as chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
Rev. Randolph Marshall Hollerith, the dean of the cathedral, said Powell was "a blessing to all who knew him."
/ Kenny Holston for NPR
Rev. Randolph Marshall Hollerith, the dean of the cathedral, said Powell was "a blessing to all who knew him."
Collin Powell's family attend his funeral service. Powell's son Michael remembered his father in his tribute as "a great lion with a big heart."
/ Kenny Holston for NPR
Collin Powell's family attend his funeral service. Powell's son Michael remembered his father in his tribute as "a great lion with a big heart."
People gather along Wisconsin Avenue in Washington, D.C. to pay their final respects as Colin Powell's casket prepares to depart from the National Cathedral.
/ Michael A. McCoy for NPR
People gather along Wisconsin Avenue in Washington, D.C. to pay their final respects as Colin Powell's casket prepares to depart from the National Cathedral.
Members of the Honor Guard carry Colin Powell's casket. Powell was national security adviser to President Ronald Reagan and served two tours in Vietnam.
/ Michael A. McCoy for NPR
Members of the Honor Guard carry Colin Powell's casket. Powell was national security adviser to President Ronald Reagan and served two tours in Vietnam.
Former Secretary of State Colin Powell is memorialized at Washington National Cathedral, in D.C. Former Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage said Powell told him, "We always need to treat people with a little more respect than they deserve, because we don't know what's going on with their lives."
/ Kenny Holston for NPR
Former Secretary of State Colin Powell is memorialized at Washington National Cathedral, in D.C. Former Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage said Powell told him, "We always need to treat people with a little more respect than they deserve, because we don't know what's going on with their lives."

Kenny Holston is a military veteran who served 14 years in the Air Force as a photojournalist both in combat and in garrison. Follow him on Instagram @kenny_holston.

Michael A. McCoy is a combat veteran and Washington, D.C.-based photojournalist. Follow him on Instagram @michaelamccoyphotography.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

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