On December 5, 2013, the world lost a hero. Nelson Mandela, the great fighter of apartheid, passed away due to a lung infection at age 95. The intrepid accomplishments and valorous sacrifices made by Mandela, however, will live on forever.
Nelson Mandela is best known for his protests against the South African government in the early 1940’s. In hope of putting an end to the racial segregation and defending South Africans from the oppressive regime, Mandela led many peaceful protests. The controversy surrounding Mandela’s resistance to the government led to his imprisonment for 27 years. Mandela’s persistence and strength inspired people all over the world and called attention to the severity of the prevailing apartheid. Nelson Mandela was the spark that started a great political fire: a conflagration that would change the course of history and restore faith to those who were denied freedom.
When released from almost three decades of imprisonment, Mandela continued on the path towards the eradication of apartheid, walking hand in hand with millions of others who sought to protect liberty. In 1994, Mandela became the first black president of South Africa, thus marking the beginning of the end of an era of governmental discrimination. Mandela’s main objective was to maintain peace both in South Africa and in all other parts of the world. For his monumental and persistent accomplishments on the peace frontier, Mandela was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1993.
Nelson Mandela was not only a promoter of peace and an advocate of racial equality; he also served as one of history’s greatest uniting forces. His funeral has been considered one of the largest gatherings of global leaders of all time. Leaders from all over the globe met in Johannesburg, putting their political animosities aside, in order to give their gratitude and praise to the late Mandela. Their unification during Mandela’s memorial exemplifies one of Mandela’s most profound ideas: “reconciliation means working together to correct the legacy of past injustice.” Nelson Mandela has left cavernous footsteps engraved on the crust of the Earth and tremendous shoes to fill. His heroism and compassion will surely not be forgotten.