The world mourns the loss of a courageous leader, Nelson Mandela, a man who sacrificed his life to end apartheid in South Africa in his fight for peace and equality.  Not everyone is born to lead a country and create change, but Nelson Mandela committed his entire life so that the people of South Africa would be free from apartheid. The road to freedom is a long one – Mandela spent 27 years in prison but never lost hope or direction. He was confident that he “could lead his people in the right direction.” He never lost sight of “a democratic and free society in which all persons live together in harmony and with equal opportunities.”

We will remember Nelson Mandela as one who inspired and united the people of South Africa and led them to freedom through peaceful acts. His vision became a reality – four years after being released from prison – Mandela in 1994 voted with his people for the first time in his life and shortly thereafter became the first Black President of South Africa.

Nelson Mandela’s legacy will live on forever in the hearts and minds of D.C. residents who marveled his life. His actions and leadership has significant meaning to our city. The legacy he created will live on through future generations as we continue to break down barriers and strive for equality among all people. We will cherish and honor his memory and the contributions that he has made to his country and to the world.