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Dressed to impress

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Kindergarten student dresses as Colin Powell, receives feedback from American hero

When Brendon Moore donned a pressed green jacket and matching slacks, pinned military buttons on his lapel, patched rank insignias on his arm and sported a homemade officer’s cap, little did he know he would be contacted by former United States Secretary of State Colin Powell.

Moore, a kindergarten student at Johnson’s Learning Center in Decatur, dressed as Powell in honor of Black History Month as part of a Live Wax Museum, which featured such prominent Black people as Sojourner Truth, Barack Obama, Maya Angelou, Diana Ross, Cam Newton, Michael Jordan, Nelson Mandela and others.

Moore was assigned Powell, who in addition to being the first Black secretary of state, served as chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, as a national security advisor and is a four-star general in the United States Army. Powell served under presidents George W. Bush, George H.W. Bush and Ronald Reagan and represented the Army in Vietnam, Panama and the Middle East.

According to his mother, Miriam Moore, Brendon spent many weeks researching Powell’s accomplishments. He also joined Miriam and his grandparents at Army surplus stores to find the perfect suit that would match Powell’s own, she said.

“Brendon has been greatly inspired by General Powell and wanted to represent him well,” Moore said. “Being the first African-American secretary of state, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and being a general in the Army—this all sparked my son’s interest at 6 years-old. He told me he not only wanted to learn about Powell, but look like him.”

Moore said it took approximately two weeks to construct the suit. Any patches or badges that could not be found were made by her.

Brendon received an “A” on his project and Moore was so proud of their work that she contacted Powell on a whim.

“I thought about the other subjects that other students were researching and said to myself, ‘General Powell is still alive and very active in the community,’” Moore said. “With social media, we have access to reach out to these people. I sent him two photos and, by the grace of God, he responded back.”

On Feb. 11, Powell recognized Moore’s project on his Facebook page.

“A mother posted a message to my Facebook page saying her son’s kindergarten class is having a Live Wax Museum for Black History Month,” Powell posted. “He’s done his project on me! Check out the cute pictures.”

Powell’s post was shared 816 times, received 440 comments and was reacted to more than 10,000 times by users throughout the world.

In addition, Powell sent Moore a signed photo that reads, “To Brendon: Great job! Keep on doing your best.”

Kindergarten teacher Melissa Perryman said she cried from sheer joy when hearing the news.

“When I heard the news, I was ecstatic,” Perryman said. “It’s a great joy; it’s never happened with our school before and was good for everyone involved—the child is happy, the parents are happy, the teacher is happy, and Mr. Powell is happy. It’s just a joy to hear from someone who’s a true American hero.”

Moore said her son could not believe the news and simply asked his mother, “Really?!” She said Brendon was honored to receive a response and that he represented Powell well.

“He was just smiling from ear to ear,” Moore said. “It lifted his spirit and encouraged him. He’s only 6 years old; to receive such recognition is something that will be remembered forever.”

According to Moore, even 6-year-olds should know about and become inspired by living heroes such as Powell.

“He impacted many people and is still impacting people today; even a 6-year-old is interested,” Moore said. “My son was honored to pay tribute to a true American hero.”

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  1. L. Spruill says:

    It is wonderful to see this young man respond to an African American hero beyond the traditional Black History list of personalities. How cool is it that Secretary Powell responded and posted it on line. Kudos to all involved!
    Larry Spruill

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