Statement by National Security Advisor Susan E. Rice, on the Death of Nelson Mandela
"Today, we have lost one of history’s great leaders. I extend my deepest condolences to the Mandela family and to the government and people of South Africa, the Republic that President Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela helped free from the cruelty and hatred of apartheid and forged anew into a rainbow nation of hope and healing. I will always cherish the honor and memory of knowing him.
Even as we mourn, we remember how privileged the world was to witness the transformation he wrought by changing minds and hearts. He was apartheid’s captive but never its prisoner, and he rid the world of one of history’s foulest evils by hewing to universal principles for which he hoped to live but was prepared to die. Let us celebrate Madiba’s life by rededicating ourselves to the values and hopes he embodied: reconciliation and justice, freedom and equality, democracy and human rights, an honest reckoning with the past and an unflinching insistence on embracing our common humanity. Let us strive to follow in his noble path—to stretch out the hand of fellowship and forgiveness across the deepest of gulfs, to find peaceful ways to resolve the bitterest of conflicts, and to insist on the revolutionary power of empathy, persuasion, perseverance, and human dignity.
President Nelson Mandela is gone, but his legacy and example will forever endure. May they continue to inspire South Africa and all humanity for generations to come. He was one of the greatest human beings of our time. Farewell, Madiba—and thank you."
Statement by the Vice President on the Death of Nelson Mandela
"Nelson Mandela once said, “A good head and a good heart are always a formidable combination.” Mandela’s wisdom and compassion were formidable enough to change the world. First his courage and then his forgiveness inspired us all, and challenged us to do better. In the words of the South African poet Peter Horn, he “dreamed the world another way.” I saw his world the way it used to be when I visited South Africa as a 34 year old Senator. When I exited the plane I was directed to one side of the tarmac, while the African American congressmen traveling with me were sent to the other side. I refused to break off, and the officials finally relented. When I tried to enter Soweto township with Congressmen Andrew Young of Atlanta and Charles Diggs of Detroit, I remember their tears of anger and sadness. Because of Nelson Mandela’s courage, and compassion, that world has been transformed. One of my favorite Irish poets, Seamus Heaney once wrote: “History says, don’t hope on this side of the grave. But then, once in a lifetime, the longed-for tidal wave of justice rises up, and hope and history rhyme.” In the hands of Nelson Mandela, hope and history rhymed. This is a better world because Nelson Mandela was in it. He was a good man. "
First Lady Michelle Obamatook to her Twitter account to make her comment on Mr. Mandela's passing.
The first lady, along with daughters Malia and Sasha, visited with Mr. Mandela in 2011. Both the president and first lady plan to attend memorial services in South Africa next week.
Other tweeted comments.
Senator Harry Reid @SenatorReid