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On behalf of President Obama and the people of the United States, I congratulate Nelson Mandela and join the world in celebrating his 93rd birthday this Sunday. I am honored and humbled to call President Mandela my friend. Like millions of his admirers around the world, I am deeply moved by his generosity of spirit and unfailing courage in the face of overwhelming obstacles. After 26 years locked in an apartheid prison, he emerged to lead South Africa’s transition from the division of apartheid to an integrated, multi-racial democracy. He embraced his jailers without bitterness or hatred and provided an example to his own people and people everywhere.
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on celebrating the first Nelson Mandela International Day.