Schock to lead Historic Delegation to Honor Life of President Nelson Mandela
Representative Aaron Schock (IL-18) will lead a historic congressional delegation traveling to South Africa to commemorate and celebrate the life of President Nelson Mandela. The delegation will join other elected officials and the South African people as they honor the life of President Mandela.
Upon being tapped to lead the delegation Schock said, “I have always had great respect for former president Mandela. The personal sacrifices he made in order to achieve what was right for the people of South Africa is something I carry with me every day. I am humbled to be leading so many of my colleagues in tribute to Nelson Mandela.”
Mandela’s battle against racially charged apartheid rule in South Africa led to his 27 year confinement in prison. Upon release Mandela helped negotiate an end to white minority rule and unify the South African people, culminating with his election as President in 1994.
House Speaker John Boehner added, “Nelson Mandela was one of the most consequential and beloved figures of our time, and I am grateful that Rep. Schock is leading our congressional delegation to the memorial service to honor his life.”
Mandela’s memorial services will take place on December 10th in Johannesburg, South Africa at FNB Stadium. The ceremony is expected to draw numerous world leaders and more than fill the 95,000 capacity stadium.
“President Mandela’s commitment to improve the lives of those around him at the expense of his own freedoms demonstrates the best in mankind. It is impossible to imagine what his time in solitude was like, but to emerge and lead the efforts of reconciliation in his country is truly remarkable. His example of servant leadership- voluntarily leaving office after one term- set an example of democratic change for South Africans and the world over. Nelson Mandela's forgiveness, leadership, and class will always inspire me.” Said Schock.