It is hard to imagine a world without Nelson Mandela. Mr. Mandela was a tirelss opponent of apartheid. His legacy of leading a democratic South Afica and statesmanship will inform future generations. We are blessed to have had such a giant for human rights among us and the world is better off because of him.
There is much we can say about Mr. Mandela, but the words that have the most profound impact are those of Mr. Mandela himself, who preferred words over weapons, and education as an equalizing force. In his later years, Mr. Mandela committed himself to building schools for South Africa's children because he knew that the resilience of one's spirit is reinforced by the brilliance of the mind.
In his innauguration speech as South Africa's first democratic president in 1994, Mr. Mandela's eloquence echoed around the world as he chronicled the deep struggles and pain endured by the people of South Africa for the good of freedom. He spoke of the heroes and heroines before him, and now their father has passed. Mr. Mandela closed his innaugural address by saying, "The sun shall never set on so glorious a human achievement." And the sun shall never set on such a transformational figure.