General Powell to be Inducted into In Memory

General Colin L. Powell, USA (Ret.)

For over 50 years, General Colin L. Powell, USA (Ret.) has devoted his life to public service. Having held senior military and diplomatic positions across four presidential administrations, Powell’s deep commitment to democratic values and freedom has been felt throughout the world.

The son of Jamaican immigrants, Powell was born in Harlem in April 1937 and was raised in the South Bronx. He was educated in the New York City public schools and attended the City College of New York where he earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Geology. It was not until he joined the Army ROTC program at CCNY that he discovered his calling and launched his military career. He received a commission as an Army second lieutenant upon graduation in 1958 and went on to serve in the United States Army for 35 years, including two tours in Vietnam, and rising to the rank of Four-Star General.

From 1987–1989 Powell served as President Ronald Reagan’s National Security Advisor. He served from 1989–1993 as chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff for both President George H.W. Bush and for President Bill Clinton. He was not only the youngest officer and first ROTC graduate to ever serve in the position, but also was the first African American to do so. Under President George W. Bush, Powell was appointed the 65th Secretary of State and was unanimously confirmed by the U.S. Senate.

Among the many U.S. Military awards and decorations Powell has received are the Defense Distinguished Service Medal, the Army Distinguished Service Medal, Defense Superior Service Medal, Legion of Merit, Soldier’s Medal, Bronze Star Medal and the Purple Heart. His civil awards include two Presidential Medals of Freedom, the President’s Citizens Medal, the Congressional Gold Medal and the Secretary of Energy Distinguished Service Medal. In addition, he has received awards from over two-dozen countries to include a French Legion of Honor and an honorary knighthood bestowed by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. Powell was married to the former Alma Vivian Johnson of Birmingham, Alabama for nearly 60 years sharing three children and four grandchildren.

Visit General Colin L. Powell’s Honor Roll profile at https://www.vvmf.org/Honor-Roll/501249/Colin-L-Powell/.

What is In Memory?

Since the Vietnam War ended, thousands of Vietnam veterans have suffered due to Agent Orange exposure, PTSD and other illnesses as a result of their service.  The Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund (VVMF) believes all those who served in Vietnam should be honored and remembered for their service.  The In Memory program enables the families and friends of those who came home and later died the opportunity to have them be forever memorialized. ​​​​​​​

The plaque on the grounds of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial site in Washington, D.C. that honors these veterans was dedicated in 2004 and reads:  In Memory of the men and women who served in the Vietnam War and later died as a result of their service. We honor and remember their sacrifice. 

In Memory was created in 1993 by the group – Friends of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial. VVMF began managing the program and hosting the ceremony in 1999. More than 5,000 veterans have been added to the In Memory Honor Roll since the program began. To see all the honorees, please visit the In Memory Honor Roll.

To learn more about the In Memory program, visit vvmf.org/in-memory-program.