Washington, DC, Jul 18 - Congresswoman Maxine Waters (CA-43) released the following statement in recognition of the 95th birthday of Nelson Mandela, the former President of South Africa. This morning, she joined her colleagues of the Congressional Black Caucus and leaders from both the House of Representatives and the United States Senate at the Celebration of the Life, Legacy and Values of Nelson R. Mandela. Congresswoman Waters led the organizing of the event, which took place in Emancipation Hall of the United States Capitol Visitor’s Center.
"Today, I join with the people of South Africa and across the world in celebrating Nelson Mandela's 95th birthday. Transformational figures of the caliber of Nelson Mandela are exceedingly rare, and I am truly fortunate to know him and call him my friend. I am heartened by recent reports that indicate President Mandela’s health is steadily improving, and I continue to pray for his recovery.
"As I mentioned in my remarks today in Emancipation Hall, President Mandela taught the world invaluable lessons about determination, leadership, and unity. I regard President Mandela as a personal hero, and I am among the many that have been profoundly moved by both him and the people of South Africa.
"President Mandela once said that ‘what counts in life is not the mere fact that we have lived. It is what difference we have made to the lives of others that will determine the significance of the life we lead.’ Few embody this quote better than Nelson Mandela himself, whose lifelong struggle against racism and apartheid not only improved the lives of all South Africans, but also showed the world what is possible when one man refuses to sacrifice his ideals.
"I offer my love, support and prayers to "Madiba" on this 95th birthday, and I extend my best wishes to him, his family and the people of South Africa.”