General Colin Powell leaves lasting impact in Kansas City for military men and women

Colin Powell
Posted at 11:06 PM, Oct 18, 2021
and last updated 2021-10-19 06:18:54-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — General Colin Powell leaves behind a legacy here in the Kansas City area for military men and women of the past, present and future.

This is a legacy that started with his time spent at at Fort Leavenworth as a One Star General.

“He was jogging while assigned here at Fort Leavenworth," George Pettigrew, executive vice president of the Alexanders and Madison Chapter, Buffalo Soldiers of Kansas City said."He noticed two road signs, one said 9th calvary, one said 10th. Colin Powell knew that those were black Buffalo Soldier outfits. Furthermore he knew that the 10th were worn and born here in Leavenworth so he never gave up on that start and developed it."

Powell understood the history of the Buffalo Soldiers and worked to honor the history.

So much that now there's a 13-foot bronze statue which proudly stands commemorating the sacrifice of black men and women for over 150 years.

“There is no one that knows Colin Powell brought Buffalo Soldiers back," Pettigrew said. "He left a legacy no one else in my lifetime has, no one else has the character the dignity, the sheer will power, the things that he has achieved.”

Pettigrew says Powell's legacy and impact are truly one of a kind, especially to the African American military veterans like himself.

“We have never seen anything like that before, we never had anyone like Colin Powell, someone that came up from the ranks and achieved even greater success to even go on to become the Secretary of State," Pettigrew said. "You can’t compare him to anyone else, there is no one else like Colin Powell and there may not be again."

However, for the future military men and women of tomorrow, Powell’s story of success and legacy is being shared with cadets inside Washington High School's JROTC program.

“General Powell was the African American Chairman of the Joint of Chiefs and when you look at who he was and how he handled himself he makes a good example for a young person to say 'I can follow in the footsteps of a person like that,'” Lt. Colonel Ret. Patrick Mccormack, senior aerospace science instructor at Washington High School said.

Mccormack said Powell set an example for those like him.

“These young people, a lot of our cadets are children of immigrants here in Kansas City, inner city kids and that was General Powell," Mccormack said. "[A] New York City kid son of immigrants who was a great example for these kids to see someone who was like them once, who grew to be a great American.

Now, after his death many are remembering Powell, an American leaving a legacy for tomorrow by paying homage to his past.

“Colin Powell left a legacy that cannot be duplicated, I don't expect in my lifetime I'll see anyone do what he has done, he left a legacy that is known because he was appreciated by everyone," Pettigrew said.