Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee, former whip of the Congressional Black Caucus, released the following statement on the 95th birthday of former South African President Nelson Mandela and the 5th anniversary of Nelson Mandela International Day:
"On this special day, my thoughts, prayers, and wishes are with Nelson Mandela and his family. Today we honor one's man's commitment to our lives by inspiring people to take up action for the betterment of our world and for the empowerment of communities everywhere.
"Nelson Mandela dedicated his life to serving humanity and continues to improve the lives of South Africans. Although he sacrificed so much -- 27 years in prison separated from his family and friends -- to bring about the end of apartheid, his work has inspired people around the world to fight for equality, justice, and democracy.
"Five years ago, the United Nations dedicated this day to commemorate Nelson Mandela's legacy of peace and freedom. As the world celebrates this momentous occasion, I want to wish Madiba a happy birthday and am honored to have worked with one of the greatest leaders of the 20th century."