Obamas Wish Nelson Mandela a Happy Birthday

President Obama: "Michelle and I extend our warmest wishes and prayers."

Posted: 07/18/2013 09:19 AM EDT

On behalf of our family and the people of the United States, Michelle and I extend our warmest wishes and prayers to Nelson Mandela on the occasion of his 95th birthday, as well as to Graça Machel, the Mandela family, and the government and people of South Africa as they mark the fifth annual Nelson Mandela International Day.  Our family was deeply moved by our visit to Madiba’s former cell on Robben Island during our recent trip to South Africa, and we will forever draw strength and inspiration from his extraordinary example of moral courage, kindness, and humility.  
 
On Nelson Mandela International Day, people everywhere have the opportunity to honor Madiba through individual and collective acts of service.  Through our own lives, by heeding his example, we can honor the man who showed his own people — and the world — the path to justice, equality, and freedom.  May Nelson Mandela’s life of service to others and his unwavering commitment to equality, reconciliation, and human dignity continue to be a beacon for each future generation seeking a more just and prosperous world.

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(Photo: Courtesy White House/ Samantha Appleton)

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