Truly, there are some benefits to attending a school in New York City. The International House had its annual George C. Marshall Visitor Program today. Yes, that is the same General George C. Marshall, Nobel Peace Prize recipient, and architect of the so-called Marshall Plan to rebuild war-torn Europe after World War II.
Today another great American general, Colin L. Powell, came to speak. What a rare treat to hear someone who has recently held both the highest diplomatic post, Secretary of State, as well as the highest military position, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. It was easy to see why he would do well as a leader: he has that intangible quality that makes one able to trust that he has good understanding of the whole problem and will only work toward the optimal solution for the greatest good. It is something decidedly different from celebrity electricity or charisma.
He was quite sanguine about the future and excited about the way information now moves freely across the planet at light speeds. He seemed proud of his reputation as a ‘reluctant soldier’ and admitted that he was disappointed that the war in Iraq could not be avoided. However, he was even quicker to point out that once it was clear it could not be, he whole-heartedly agreed with George Bush, Tony Blair and John Howard that war was the only course of action.
A rare individual, and a great American.
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Jeremy I so agree with your words about Colin Powell. I’m so glad you got to hear him speak. I wish I could have been there! Rita
Do you remember that this is the second time you have had to good fortune to hear Colin Powell? He was the graduation speaker the year your cousin Mark graduated from West Point.
This is Elena, your cousin Jeff’s wife. We met at Emily’s wedding in Portland in July. Your mom told us about your blog, so we just checked it out. I wanted to post a comment to your blog on seeing Powell at International House….I can’t believe you lived there!! I did, too, for three years! I lived there from August 2001-July 2004. I was there studying international affairs at Columbia, where I got my MA. It’s so interesting you lived there! Didn’t you love it? I did – and made so many wonderful friends. I miss it…and my view of the Hudson River and Riverside Park from my 12th floor apartment in I-House North. I will read more in your blog about NYC… when did you leave there? I guess I was under the impression from your parents that you and your wife lived there together. Anyway, it was good to meet you and your wife a few months ago and we should stay in touch!
P.S. If you check out our blog, please forgive my utter lack of updates. I need to freshen it up! Check back in a week or so…