Today, an eloquent voice has been silenced, a beautiful mind stilled, and a bountiful heart stopped. The epic soul of Nelson Mandela is now at rest.
It is routine to suggest that the legacy of a man or woman will outlive that person, but in this case, the world will never be the same now that Nelson Mandela has occupied it. The example of his leadership – from prison to the presidency – from a land riven by fear to a people reconciled through truth and justice – will stand for all time.
Fifteen years ago, in an address to the United Nations, Mandela wrote his own epitaph: “As I sit in Qunu and grow as ancient as its hills, I will entertain the hope that there has emerged a cadre of leaders in my own country and region, on my continent and in the world, that will not allow any to be denied freedom as we were; that will not allow any to be turned into refugees as we were; that will not allow any to be condemned to go hungry as we were; and that will not allow any to be stripped of their dignity as we were.”
Nelson Mandela was a man of profound dignity. As we mourn his passing and celebrate his life, we must also find inspiration in his memory – striving daily to promote peace, freedom, and dignity for others.
- Cross posted from U.S. Mission to the UN