Mandela's 95th birthday honored at UN - New York News

Mandela's 95th birthday honored at UN

Posted: Updated:
(Wikimedia) (Wikimedia)

By RON DePASQUALE

The Associated Press

UNITED NATIONS (AP) - As the United Nations celebrated an ailing Nelson Mandela's 95th birthday Thursday, former President Bill Clinton recalled the day Mandela walked out of prison at last. Years later Clinton asked Mandela if he allowed himself to hate his captors.

For a brief moment, the man who became a symbol of peace gave in to hate, he told Clinton. Then he let go.

"He said 'People can take everything. I lost my family, the chance to see my children grow up, the best years of my life. They can take everything except your mind and your heart, those things I decided not to give away," Clinton said. "He looked at me and smiled and he said, 'Neither should you.'"

The lesson, Clinton said, was simple.

"You can't free anybody else, and you can't serve anybody else, unless first you free yourself from bitterness and hatred and resentment, and the paralysis they bring," he said. "Mandela walked out of prison after 27 years a greater man than when he went in."

As the United Nations declared July 18 Nelson Mandela International Day, Mandela remained hospitalized, though he showed some signs of progress Thursday, after weeks of worrying that he was on the verge of death.

Civil rights leader Rev. Jesse Jackson said it was no accident that South Africa's apartheid regime crumbled during Mandela's long struggle.

"Social transformation is an intentional act," he said. Mandela inspired "millions of people on the continent and around the world who somehow believed midnight would not last forever. So we fought."

Jackson urged all to remember that before Mandela became South Africa's first black president, he was a freedom fighter whose determination never waned while he lived in a tiny prison cell.

"The world will little note nor long remember what we say here today, but will never forget the living witness of Nelson Mandela," Jackson said. "Because of Madiba, standing on his shoulders we are a bit taller, sharing his vision we see a bit further, because of his sacrifice we are made better. He is a giant among men."

Egypt's U.N. Ambassador Mootaz Ahmadein Khalil said nations must do more than simply look back on Mandela's life on his birthday.

"Recognizing the legacy of Mandela is not possible without complementing Mandela's vision with actions," he said. "As Nelson Mandela once said, 'Action without vision is only passing time, vision without action is merely day-dreaming, but vision with action can change the world."

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Follow Us!

  • Politics NewsMore>>

  • Mayors' group pushes for pension reform

    Mayors' group pushes for pension reform

    Monday, April 21 2014 12:04 PM EDT2014-04-21 16:04:17 GMT
    money-roll-genericmoney-roll-generic
    More than two dozen Illinois mayors are set to hold a news conference, hoping to encourage state lawmakers to make changes to pension systems for local police and fire departments.
    More than two dozen Illinois mayors are set to hold a news conference, hoping to encourage state lawmakers to make changes to pension systems for local police and fire departments.
  • US Sen. Durbin says he's taking Oberweis seriously

    US Sen. Durbin says he's taking Oberweis seriously

    Sunday, April 20 2014 11:10 AM EDT2014-04-20 15:10:55 GMT
    U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin says he's taking his opponent in the November election more seriously than any challenger since he first was elected to the Senate.
    U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin says he's taking his opponent in the November election more seriously than any challenger since he first was elected to the Senate.
  • Pensions pose latest challenge for Chicago mayor

    Pensions pose latest challenge for Chicago mayor

    Tuesday, April 8 2014 8:41 AM EDT2014-04-08 12:41:57 GMT
    Rahm Emanuel has been a force in politics and now the hard-charging mayor intent on fixing what ails the nation's third-largest city.
    Rahm Emanuel has been a force in politics and now the hard-charging mayor intent on fixing what ails the nation's third-largest city.
  • Local NewsLocal NewsMore>>

  • Dead cats found hanging from trees in Yonkers

    Dead cats found hanging from trees in Yonkers

    Thursday, April 24 2014 11:03 PM EDT2014-04-25 03:03:00 GMT
    SPCA of Westchester photoSPCA of Westchester photo
    Police are investigating the discovery of at least two dozen dead cats found inside plastic bags hanging from trees in Yonkers Thursday, according to the SPCA of Westchester. Some of the cats were badly decomposed but others appeared more recently killed.
    Police are investigating the discovery of at least two dozen dead cats found inside plastic bags hanging from trees in Yonkers Thursday, according to the SPCA of Westchester. Some of the cats were badly decomposed but others appeared more recently killed.
  • Some residents return after NJ brush fires force evacuations

    Some residents return after NJ brush fires force evacuations

    Thursday, April 24 2014 10:42 PM EDT2014-04-25 02:42:55 GMT
    A school and many homes in Ocean County, N.J., were evacuated on Thursday afternoon because of several brush fires that were fanned by winds. Some residents returned a few hours later. The largest fires burned about 300 acres around Berkeley Township. Firefighters had about 30 percent contained late Thursday night.
    A school and many homes in Ocean County, N.J., were evacuated on Thursday afternoon because of several brush fires that were fanned by winds. Some residents returned a few hours later. The largest fires burned about 300 acres around Berkeley Township. Firefighters had about 30 percent contained late Thursday night.
  • 'Here Lies Love'

    'Here Lies Love'

    Thursday, April 24 2014 7:33 PM EDT2014-04-24 23:33:22 GMT
    "Here Lies Love" tells the rise and fall of former Philippines first lady Imelda Marcos. History meets disco literally as the story is told in a nightclub.Ruthie Ann Miles plays Marcos. Miles admits a big challenge is bringing to life a woman with views vastly different from her own and giving that to show-goers. "As an actor you believe in yourself," Miles says. "You need to be your own best friend, your own biggest supporter so that the audience can come on a journey with you."
    "Here Lies Love" tells the rise and fall of former Philippines first lady Imelda Marcos. History meets disco literally as the story is told in a nightclub.Ruthie Ann Miles plays Marcos. Miles admits a big challenge is bringing to life a woman with views vastly different from her own and giving that to show-goers. "As an actor you believe in yourself," Miles says. "You need to be your own best friend, your own biggest supporter so that the audience can come on a journey with you."
Powered by WorldNow
Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Ad Choices