Hoosiers Celebrate Mandela at the Statehouse

Dec 9, 2013

Indiana political, community and faith leaders gathered at the Statehouse Sunday to mourn the death and celebrate the life of Nelson Mandela.

U.S. Sen. Joe Donnelly speaks at a remembrance of former South African President Nelson Mandela Sunday at the Indiana Statehouse.
Credit Brandon Smith / Indiana Public Broadcasting

Though many of the speakers at the service for the late South African leader expressed sorrow at his passing, the focus was on Nelson Mandela’s legacy and the example he set for people across the world. 

Former state representative Bill Crawford was the leader of Indiana’s Free South Africa movement.  He says he’s not grieving because there’s still work to be done.

“One generation plants the trees; another generation enjoys the shade.  What choice are we going to make?” Crawford said. “Are we going to continue Madiba’s struggle not just to plant the tree and walk away but make sure that all generations enjoy the shade?”

Senator Joe Donnelly says while there is sadness, there is also great joy in celebrating such a wonderful life.

“What a giant we have lost but how lucky we were to be in his presence,” Donnelly said.

Donnelly says the lesson Hoosiers should learn from Mandela is that when they look at one another, they should look at the best part of each other.