this is "nightline." >> tonight, the american journey of colin powell. >> my life's been blessed because i've had a chance to serve my country. >> the young man from the south bronx. >> he broke so many barriers, and those barriers were not easy to break by any stretch. >> top general, secretary of state, and long-time republican who never lost his independence. why his legacy matters. plus, supply chain in crisis. >> where are the toys, when are they coming, are they coming at all? >> retailers in panic, as shortages loom. >> what is sitting in all these containers behind us? >> everything. >> everything everybody is waiting for.
>> is this just the beginning? >> "nightline" will be right back. when you're driving a lincoln, stress seems to evaporate into thin air. which leaves us to wonder, where does it go? does it get tangled up in knots? or fall victim to gravity? or maybe it winds up somewhere over the bermuda triangle. perhaps you'll come up with your own theory of where the stress goes. behind the wheel of a lincoln is a mighty fine place to start. ♪ ♪ tequila herradura. extraordinary awaits.
joint chiefs and eventually secretary of state. jobs never held before by a person of color. >> we're going to get this thing over with quickly and in the simple process, cut it off and kill it and get home as fast as we can. thank you very much. [ applause ] >> reporter: that was general colin powell. the war hero. concise, calm, lethal clarity. >> you're going to go into a conflict, overwhelm them, send in as many people as you can. that was his doctrine. >> reporter: if that was all he was, colin powell lived a remarkable life. but he was more. and america was better for it. >> colin powell made history in so many ways. he was the first black chairman of the joint chiefs of staff. he was the first black national security adviser. and he was the first black secretary of state. getting to those positions was harder, because he was a black man. and i think everyone should appreciate that. >> reporter: tonight, leaders
from around the world and here at home remembering powell, who died due to complications from covid-19, despite being fully vaccinated. >> colin powell dedicated his extraordinary life to public service, because he never stopped believing in america. >> he was the epitome of what it means to be strong, but at the same time, so modest in terms of everything that he did and said. in a way, it was never about him, it was about the country. >> he was not only a dear friend and patriot, one of our great military leaders and a man of overwhelming desensy. >> reporter: he had been battling a rare blood cancer, as well as parkinson's disease. doctors say it can weaken the immune system. he had been scheduled for the booster shot right when he came down with covid. colin powell was born in 1937. his parts, arjamaican immigrant.
discrimination fueled him. his passion for the military started at city college, where he was a member of the rotc. after graduating, he would serve two combat tours in vietnam. >> i think the army really, truly did shape colin powell. he liked being in uniform.phe l. he liked the power, the authority that it gave him. he learned leadership there. he learned team work there. he learned so much there that got him through the rest of his life in the way he got through it. >> reporter: powell would seen become a four-star general, serving under four presidents, republican and democrat. in 1991, overseeing the successful first gulf war. when the u.s. ousted saddam hussein from kuwait. his most controversial moment coming more than ten years later, in 2003, as secretay of state dring a speech to the u.n., powell made the case for war, telling the world of iraq's weapons of mass destruction. >> the gravity of this moment is
matched by the gravity of the threat that iraq's weapons of mass destruction pose to the world. >> reporter: those weapons did not exist. the intelligence was flawed. powell was delivering the message of the bush administration, but he would take responsibility as the messenger. telling abc news' barbara walters, he felt terrible about the claims made in that speech. >> do you think this blot on your record will stay with you the rest of your life? >> of course it will. it's a blot. i'm the one who presented it on behalf of the united nations, the united states to the world. and it will always be a part of my record. >> how painful is that? >> it was painful. it's painful now. >> reporter: he was also respected on both sides of the aisle. a registered republican, his focus on people rather than party led him to endorse then senator barack obama, just two weeks before the 2008 election. >> i think he's a transformational figure, he's a new generation coming into the world -- onto the world stage,
the american stage. for that reason, i will be voting for senator barack obama. >> reporter: president obama releasing a statement writing, general powell helped a generation of young people set their sights higher. he never denied the role race played in his own life and in society more broadly. but he also refused to accept that race would limit his dreams, and through his steady and principled leadership, helped pave the way for so many who would follow. former president george bush calling powell a great public servant. tonight, flags are flying half staff, paying tribute to powell's life and legacy. decorated war hero, distinguished diplomat, a good and decent man, husband, father, grandfather. colin powell didn't just break barriers, he built bridges. and not only did this child of immigrants live the american dream, he embodied it. >> i would like to talk about what he would think his lasting legacy is. he talked about that in his
memoir and wanting to be a good soldier. whenever you asked colin powell after he became secretary of state, whether he would prefer to be called general or preferred to be called secretary, he would always say, call me general, because i'm a soldier at heart. and he was, indeed, a good soldier. >> earlier i spoke to historian lea wright and former senior mcbride.to general powell anita- colin powell was a man of many firsts. what is his true legacy as a soldier, military leader and diplomat? >> he is, in a essence, the story of americandy mock a si, of the promise of the american dream. even as he cautioned us that we let go all of our understandings of what surrounds the american dream, things like inequality. i do think he represents essentially at the best -- when we look at the best of his
legacy, he does represent this story of what is possible in america. >> lea, if i may, we live in such devie siivisive times. where we seen the last of leaders like colin powell? >> he's rare because he was willing to critique his party loudly when his party needed it. we know there's the contested history behind colin powell's willingness to do that. when we look at the larger trajectory of colin powell's career and his career as a politician or as a political figure, in these elite circles, particularly republican circles, he's unique and essentially the last of a kind of breed of political figures that was hg to take his party to task and say we haven't done enough and we need to do so much more. >> anita, you served as chief of staff for first lady laura bush and worked for colin powell at the state department. take us behind the scenes, what was the secret to his success,
do you think? >> as a military man, and then as the nation's top diplomat, he cared about the people who were working for him and with him. and people felt an incredible sense of loyalty to him because of that. he worked in a political environment, but he was not really interested in being a politician. but that doesn't mean that, as a private citizen later in life, as lea says, he would take on the party that he worked for. >> in our closing moments, a final thought from me to you. lea, if you could engrave the tombstone of this great american man, what might you say? >> oh, gosh. that's a hard question. a really difficult question. you know, i think that i would say here lies a complicated leader who gave his life for service. and i think it encapsulates essentially a legacy, a legacy
that is deeply mourned by people of all political stripes. >> anita, we'll give you the last word. what will you remember most about this man? >> he loved his country. he served his country. he loved his family. he loved his friends. he was an optimist. he believed in the future of the country. and of its people. and he tried his best in all the phases of his life to bring out the best in everyone. and that was a great example of a truly, truly great american. >> amen. thanks to you both. up next, the global supply chain crisis. what it means for american consumers. people everywhere living with type 2 diabetes people everywhere living with type 2 diabetes are waking up to what's possible with rybelsus®. with rybelsus®. with rybelsus®. ♪ you are my sunshine ♪ ♪ you are my sunshine ♪ ♪ my only sunshine... ♪ rybelsus® is a pill that lowers rybelsus® is a pill that lowers
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the global supply chain crisis has the potential to impact nearly everything we buy. and it's only getting worse. today, a major retail association called on joe biden to consider all options, including use of the national guard. for many anxious retailers, relief cannot come soon enough. here's abc's kailee hartung. >> this is just one to have best toys ever, ever, ever. classic. >> reporter: for this minnesota toy store owner, nothing is more fulfilling than receiving a fresh batch of toys. her stock room is filled to the brim with boxes waiting to be opened. >> this sinenn toir that i
have taken delivery of earlier than normal. now it's coming in at such a clip, some of it is things we've been waiting months for. >> reporter: she's now finding herself on the front line os of a global supply chain sis rupg disruption. >> by december 1, i will not have one lego product in stock, so i'm making plans what is the conduct i'm putting on the lego wall. i'm talking to vendors about where shipments are, what are some alternate products. god, we're short here. >> reporter: with the holidays fast approaching, amy is still waiting on 25% of her orders. >> where are the toys, when are they coming, are they coming at all? it's a rolter coaster. >> reporter: he's not alone, across the country, store owners big and small are worried about their products. from music stores -- >> it's strange for us not being able to get things. >> to shoe stores. >> many are telling us it's
because of shortages of supplies or labor shortages, that they're not able to produce the merchandise as quickly as normal. >> reporter: the growing backlog in the supply chain seems to be affecting everyone. and it started because of an unforseen increase in consumer demand. the people who have jobs have more money than ever. a lot of them buy things, and that's meant increased demand at a time when the supply chain is failing. >> reporter: nearly 700 cargo ships are backed up at ports worldwide. like this one in california. what is sitting in all these containers bhirns behind us? >> everything. everything you can imagine. >> toilet paper, your shirts, shoes. >> your peloton bike. >> everything everybody is waiting for. >> reporter: because of the pandemic, factories are struggling to keep up. and labor shortages from thedri there's little relief in sight. many u.s. companies do have huge
manufacturing centers in china, so in some cases some of those factories had to close down because of covid protocol. so that slowed down production. then if you add in all of the transport difficulties, you really have a big mess. >> reporter: last week, joe biden issued new measures to help ease the strain. >> this is across the board commitment to go into 24/7. this is a big first step in speeding up the movement of materials and goods through our supply chain. >> reporter: today, the american apparel and footwear association called on joe biden to do more, urging the white house to consider a proposal to incentivize the use of national guard or use naval ports to unload cargo, drive trucks and unlock port congestion. have you ever seen a shipping crisis like this? >> no, not in our lifetime. >> reporter: they are long shoremen in los angeles and long beech, where 40% of the nation's imports are overseen. they oversee the loadingha d
there. where is the breakdown? >> in the suppl chain in general. puzzle. first of all, we need space on our terminals. you need the truck drivers to be engaged, you need facilities available and open. so that they can deliver the cargo to, and return the equipment back. and we need the rail. >> reporter: how long have some of these containers been stacked up here? >> i guarantee there's containers on this dock that have been here 30, 60, 90, six months that are sitting on these docks throughout l.a. and long beach that no one has come to pick up. >> reporter: yet the ships keep coming. the port averaging 900,000 containers per month, projecting 10.8 million this year. >> those containers need to be moved someplace else to give relief. >> reporter: they say they have 14,000 port workers in southern california to move those shipments around the clock. but the problem is to where?
>> as far as we're concerned, we're only a piece of the puzzle. we need the rest of the supply chain to work out their logistics to have this moved. >> reporter: at the port of long beach, martha radatz took to the waters. >> there are more than 60 container ships anchored here waiting to unload. those are just the ones you can see. way out in the pacific, there are dozens more. >> reporter: even once they make it into the port, they sit and wait. >> you've been here for a month? >> yes. >> a long time. >> reporter: it's taking three times longer to clear vessels at the ports compared to before the pandemic. whenever they're cleared and the goods make it on land, some of the containers are emptied at distribution centers like this one. >> they have come in and we're getting the goods off the truck, and send them direct to the stores. >> reporter: but there's a shortage of truck drivers, too. >> the trucking industry, a lot
of them have sought other opportunities in other sectors. >> reporter: which makes getting eacharr.s into stores like amy's >> my husband says i sleep like a baby, in that i wake up every two hours screaming. we knew at the end of last year that there were severe supply chain disruptions. so in january, i ordered all my puzzles for the year, including christmas puzzles and my staff thought i was nutty. but i ran short last year. that's really cute. this year i took bigger risks with new products that i wasn't sure what they were going to be like. and then i place a lot of in jup. th -- june. they're still a lot we don't have. this year, my spread sheet is 127 lines long, and i'm not sure i'm going to see maybe 40% of
this. >> reporter: the global supply chain crisis hitting smaller and medium size businesses in a different way. they're little fish in a big pond. if you look at what walmart, target, home depot have done, they've chartered their own ships. for small and medium size businesses, they're just saying you have to be patient or we can help you find something else. >> happy little dinosaurs is a new one for us. >> i'm shopping for christmas gifts because i'm afraid in will be a shortage and i wanted to get ahead of the rush, because i normally am late. >> there's always that waiting game, i want to wait until early december. this is not the year to play that game. if you want a toy, hot wheels, lego, barbie, you need to get it as soon as possible. >> reporter: despite all the verining incertainties, amy sayl i'm not worried about my
financial future, because we're having a huge year. if something says to me something is not possible, i think challenge accepted. ly find the toys and bring them to my customers and make sure they have a great holiday season. >> our thanks to kailee. i'll be back with a final note. it's once-monthly injectable cabenuva. cabenuva is the only once-a-month, complete hiv treatment for adults who are undetectable. cabenuva helps keep me undetectable. it's two injections, given by a healthcare provider once a month. hiv pills aren't on my mind. i love being able to pick up and go. don't receive cabenuva if you're allergic to its ingredients or taking certain medicines, which may interact with cabenuva. serious side effects include allergic reactions post-injection reactions, liver problems,...and depression. if you have a rash and other allergic reaction symptoms, stop cabenuva and get medical help right away. tell your doctor if you have liver problems or mental health concerns, and if you are pregnant, breastfeeding, or considering pregnancy.
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finally tonight, colin powell had 13 rules that he said helped guide his life. i would encourage you to go online to read all of them. but we'll leave you with number 13. perpetual optimism is a force multiplier. amen. that's "nightline" for this evening. catch our pufull episodes on hu. we'll see you back here tomorrow. thanks for the company, america. good night.