Friday, December 6, 2013

The day after Nelson Mandela was free
President Obama has ordered all flags throughout the United States of America lowered to half-staff immediately, Thursday, December 5, 2013 until sunset on Monday, December 9, 2013, as a mark of respect for the memory of Nelson Mandela.

Yesterday, one of the great leaders of our time past away at 95 years old. He was considered a fearless leader and a relentless force against discrimination and racialism. It is with great respect for his life, and the extension of his values that we set our nation's flag at half staff.

It wasn't until 1990, after he was released froma  27 year sentence, Mandela became internationally popular and in the spotlight. Three years later, in 1993, Mandela received the Nobel Peace Prize. The following year, he gained office as the first black president of South Africa. His life's mission was to dismantle the long term effects of colonizations and the apartheid. Mandela said, "There is no such thing as part freedom."

Flag of South Africa (Adopted April, 1994)

Mandela suffered many things in the face of standing up for himself and his beliefs. His protests found him suspended from university. On the run from an arranged marriage, he became a night watchman in Johannesburg. During his law studies, he was the only native African student. While he felt discrimination first hand, he also found a collective group of student protestors.

Up through his imprisonment as a political activist, Mandela shows us his unwillingness to accept things as they are. While he was ridiculed for his equality of all parties, cut down for his belief of freedom, he persevered to effect a great nation, being an example to the world. He also said, "Do not judge me by my successes, judge me by how many times I fell down and got back up again."

We will leave you with one more quote from Nelson Mandela. Let us take this time to remember him, and carry his spirit within our hearts forever. "I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear."