Milwaukee mourns the loss of Mandela

MILWAUKEE -- The loss of Nelson Mandela has touched people in Milwaukee.

Mayor Tom Barrett met Mandela in the mid-90's during his time in Congress.

He said he was in awe of meeting of one the world's great freedom fighters.

City Treasurer Spencer Coggs met the former South African President in 1997 while in the country.

\"He was just the most gracious person imaginable,\" Coggs explained.

Coggs recalled how the people of South Africa referred to Mandela by a nickname \"Madiba\".

Alderman Joe Davis, Wisconsin's consul to the Republic of South Africa, sent a statement saying:

\"As Honorary Consul to the Republic of South Africa from the State of Wisconsin, I am deeply saddened to hear of President Nelson Mandela’s passing today. My thoughts and prayers are with his family, and I send my deepest regrets to the people of South Africa, who today lost their greatest leader.

President Mandela was a man whose convictions were tested beyond the bounds of comprehension, and he emerged from his trials more resolute where lesser men—many men—would have given up hope. He was a shining example to us all, not only as an inspiring beacon of courage, but as a lesson in forgiveness as well. His like will not be seen again for some time, and he will be sorely missed.

Rest in peace, Madiba. \"

Congresswoman Gwen Moore, who met Mandela in 2005, also sent a statement:

“Today we have lost a visionary leader and hero for human rights. Nelson Mandela broke the chains of oppression in South Africa and opened the hearts and minds of millions. His life’s journey serves as an inspiration to all those who strive to create a more just world. He reaffirmed to all that hope and a steadfast dream of freedom will prevail over hatred and fear. 

“His courage and strength freed a nation and reshaped our history. In 2005, I had the honor and blessing of meeting this remarkable man. It was a powerful moment that left an indelible mark.

“Though no words can wholly console those who mourn, my thoughts and prayers go out to every person touched by his kind spirit and resolve. May his legacy live on today and always.”

Representative Mandela Barnes' statement:

“Today the world lost a hero, and a champion for equality and justice. His message of peace has not only forever changed South Africa, but enhanced world diplomacy, and been an inspiration for millions around the planet, including myself.

“I want to extend my deepest condolences to Mandela’s family, friends, and to the entire South African community. Though we’ve known for some time that his health was fragile, nothing could have prepared us for the enormous loss the world has suffered today. The spirit of Nelson Mandela will live throughout the world for an eternity.

“It wasn’t until I was a young adult that I truly realized the significance of the namesake that my parents had given me. To this day, a particular quote of Mandela’s continues gives me inspiration; ‘It always seems impossible until it’s done.’”





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