Mandela Received '93 Liberty Medal In Philadelphia - New York News

Mandela Received '93 Liberty Medal In Philadelphia

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PHILADELPHIA -

South Africa's current president says former president and civil rights leader Nelson Mandela has died.

Mandela was 95. He battled a lengthy illness with long hospitalizations.

South Africa's current president says that the civil rights leader died peacefully at home.

Mandela was celebrated here in Philadelphia for his work to secure liberty for people worldwide.

He received the Liberty Medal on July 4, 1993 in a ceremony hosted by newly elected President Bill Clinton.

There is video of him a week before receiving the honor. Mandela was celebrated alongside F.W. De Klerk, the last president of South Africa during the apartheid era.

Upon receiving the medal, Mandela said, "...let it be our pledge to you that we shall seize on the eternal principles of justice, liberty and peace, and set an example in their defense."

The National Liberty Museum in Philadelphia has an exhibit honoring Mandela's struggle. Mandela spent 20 years in prison before the South African government released him. The National Liberty Museum honors his sacrifice for equality and freedom.

"What we do is use the stories of heroes and heroism to teach lessons to the next generation about liberty and democracy and freedom. Who better, than Nelson Mandela," said Gwen Borowsky, the founder of the National Liberty Museum.

Borowsky hopes there will be a crowd at the museum today so that Mandela's story will be seen by more people.

"There's the price that he paid for standing up for his beliefs. The courage, and how easy it would be to come out and call for revenge. He did not. He called for reconciliation. Such a powerful lesson, particularly with today's generation," Borowsky emphasized.

Renee Amoore, health care advocate and founder of Amoore Group, was at the ceremony in 1993 and met Nelson Mandela. They interacted many times after that after Amoore helped President Bush's initiative to aid preventative health care in South Africa.

"So humble," Amoore recalled. "He just cared about people. He just had a wonderful soul about him."

Amoore tells Mike and Sheinelle that she visited that jail cell that Mandela spent 20 years of his life in.

"He came out and not being bitter...that's amazing!" Amoore remarked. "The whites were very fearful after he got out because they didn't know what was going to happen. They thought he would hate him. He was completely opposite. He loved them."

All around the world, people are mourning the death of this great leader. Click on the stories to the right to find out more about Mandela and struggles of South Africa to overcome Apartheid.

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