July 18, 2014

A young man kneels on the street shortly after the hearse carrying the coffin of former South African President Nelson Mandela passed by Dec. 11, 2013,1 in Pretoria. Mandela, 95, died Dec. 5 at his Johannesburg home. (CNS photo/Kai Pfaffenbach, Reuters)

Pretoria, South Africa — "Peace is not just the absence of conflict; peace is the creation of an environment where all can flourish, regardless of race, colour, creed, religion, gender, class, caste, or any other social markers of difference. Religion, ethnicity, language, social and cultural practices are elements which enrich human civilization, adding to the wealth of our diversity. Why should they be allowed to become a cause of division, and violence? We demean our common humanity by allowing that to happen. . . ."

- Nelson Mandela, from a speech at the Global Convention on Peace and Nonviolence, Jan. 21, 2004, in New Delhi, India.

From the United Nations Nelson Mandela International Day website:

Every year on 18 July – the day Nelson Mandela was born – the U.N. joins a call by the Nelson Mandela Foundation to devote 67 minutes of time to helping others, as a way to mark Nelson Mandela International Day.

For 67 years Nelson Mandela devoted his life to the service of humanity – as a human rights lawyer, a prisoner of conscience, an international peacemaker and the first democratically elected president of a free South Africa.

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