House Democratic Whip Steny H. Hoyer (MD) joined Speaker John Boehner, Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi, and leaders from both the House and Senate this morning at a ceremony in Emancipation Hall in the U.S. Capitol to mark Nelson Mandela International Day in honor of his 95th birthday.
“Nelson Mandela has taught us the meaning of courage and determination in the face of near-impossible odds and bitter injustice,” said Whip Hoyer. “I join in celebrating his 95th birthday today and marking Nelson Mandela International Day with a firm commitment to continue efforts to combat racism, intolerance, and inequality here in America and throughout the world. I also continue to pray for the speedy recovery of President Mandela, and my thoughts are with his family and the people of his beloved South Africa.”
Whip Hoyer was among several leaders who honored President Mandela at this morning’s ceremony by reading passages from his autobiography.
“A new world will be won not by those who stand at a distance with their arms folded, but by those who are in the arena,” Whip Hoyer read, “whose garments are torn by storms and whose bodies are maimed in the course of the contest. Honor belongs to those who never forsake the truth even when things seem dark and grim, who try over and over again, who are never discouraged by insults, humiliation and even defeat.”
The goal of Nelson Mandela International Day is to inspire action to change the world for the better and build a global movement for good by empowering communities in every nation. It is observed each year on July 18, President Mandela’s birthday.