LEGISLATIVE RESOLUTION mourning the death of Nelson Mandela, former President of South Africa, civil rights leader, teacher, freedom fight- er, Father of his Nation, and inspiration to the global community WHEREAS, It is with profound intent that this Legislative Body is moved to pay homage to a man of indomitable faith and dedication whose purposeful life and accomplishments will forever stand as a paradigm and inspiration for others; and WHEREAS, It is the sense of this Legislative Body to give acclaim to individuals of great character whose lives exemplify the highest ideals of humanity; and WHEREAS, Born into a royal clan on July 18, 1918, in Mvezo, South Africa, Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela died on December 5, 2013, at the age of 95; and WHEREAS, Nelson Mandela attended local boarding schools and then Fort Hare University; while studying law, he developed an interest in African nationalism and non-violent resistance; and WHEREAS, Later, while working as a law clerk, Nelson Mandela became active in the African National Congress (ANC), eventually serving as its vice president as the South African government continued to enforce apartheid; and WHEREAS, Nelson Mandela was charged with conspiring against the government and sentenced to life in prison in 1964; he, along with seven other ANC members, were sent to Robben Island Prison; and WHEREAS, He delivered his famous "I am prepared to die" statement from the dock at the opening of the Rivonia Trial, which declared "I have cherished the ideal of a democratic and free society in which all persons live together in harmony and with equal opportunities. It is an ideal which I hope to live for and to achieve. But if needs be, it is an ideal for which I am prepared to die."; and WHEREAS, Nelson Mandela completed his law degree by correspondence at Robben Island; throughout his time in prison, local and international pressure built for the South African government to release him; and WHEREAS, In the late 1980s, the campaign to release Nelson Mandela reached its apex, with demonstrators across the world's major cities gathering and chanting the slogan: "Free Nelson Mandela!"; and WHEREAS, In February of 1990, the hopes and dreams of Nelson Mandela's supporters were answered when President Frederik De Klerk announced his release; and WHEREAS, Soon after he was freed, this magnanimous leader set about creating the world he envisioned; Nelson Mandela began negotiations with the South African government, leading to the gradual dismantling of apartheid from 1990 to 1993, which earned both him and De Klerk a joint Nobel Peace Prize in 1993; and WHEREAS, Admired by his country and the world at large, Nelson Mandela won South Africa's first multi-racial elections on April 27, 1994, becoming its first black president; he vowed to build a "rainbow nation at peace with itself and with the world"; and WHEREAS, Nelson Mandela established the Truth and Reconciliation Commission with the intention of resolving the gaping wounds left by apartheid, and working toward national unity; and WHEREAS, At the end of his term in 1999, Nelson Mandela withdrew from political life but remained active in various causes, particularly in the fight against AIDS, the disease that claimed the life of his son, Makgatho, in 2005; and WHEREAS, South African cleric Desmond Tutu, the first black archbishop of Cape Town and a vocal opponent of racial segregation, described this extraordinary man "a global icon of reconciliation"; and WHEREAS, Nelson Mandela is survived by his wife, Graca Machel and three children, as well as his former wife, Winnie Madikizela; and WHEREAS, Nelson Mandela's monumental legacy will continue to shine forth as a beacon of hope for all those who aspire to create a just and peaceful world; now, therefore, be it RESOLVED, That this Legislative Body pause in its deliberations to mourn the death of Nelson Mandela, former President of South Africa, remembering his purposeful life and countless achievements, and express- ing its sincerest condolences to his family and nation; and be it further RESOLVED, That a copy of this Resolution, suitably engrossed, be tran- smitted to the family of Nelson Mandela.