Thursday, December 05, 2013
Nelson Mandela passes away at 95
There aren't too many foreign leaders who become ingrained into the American consciousness - aside from Mandela, maybe the English royal family and the Pope - but Mandela not only became part of the American consciousness, he became an inspiration to most of a generation here.
And an absolute icon to most of the rest of the world.
There also aren't too many foreign leaders who have deserve to have an American national holiday in their honor, but Mandela is one, perhaps the one.
However, instead of commemorating his birth (July 18), showing respect for his death (December 5), we should honor him on the day he was freed after more than a quarter century's imprisonment by the apartheid regime in South Africa - February 11.
A brief bio of Mandela from Nobelprize.org is here (he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1993).
President Obama's statement on Mandela's passing is here (text) and here (video).
I'm not going to link to a specific news story; there are too many good ones to choose from. If you want to read some more in-depth stories (and you should), visit any MSM website or just Google his name.
Since his life was an inspiration to millions across the world, his death is not, and must not be, a cause for sadness.
His speech upon receipt of the US Congress' Congressional Gold Medal -