Today the world mourns the loss of one of the most beloved leaders of all time. Nelson Mandela died today in his Houghton home surrounded by his family at the age of 95.
Mandela will have a state funeral and the flags will fly half-mast from December 6th until after his funeral.
Mandela will forever be remembered as a man who brought hope and reconciliation to the people of South Africa. He was a beacon of optimism for both those in Africa and around the world.
Long known as the most infamous political martyr, Mandela spent 27 years behind bars for trying to overthrow the pro-apartheid government. While in prison, Mandela worked to successfully unify the prisoners. Upon his release on February 11, 1990, Mandela worked to establish multiracial elections.
In 1993, Mandela was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.
In 1994, Mandela was elected President, and he formed a Government of National Unity. He also initiated the Truth and Reconciliation Commission which investigated human rights abuses. Mandela’s presidency introduced measures to combat Africa’s poverty, to encourage land reform, and to expand healthcare services.
July 18th is celebrated as “Mandela Day” worldwide, where individuals are asked to donate 67 minutes of their time to helping others – commemorating the 67 years Mandela had been part of the anti-apartheid movement.
Mandela, considered “the father of the nation” and “the founding father of democracy” in South Africa, leaves behind a great legacy. The world lost a wonderful leader today. Let us all give him a moment of silence.