"Gentlemen," said Washington, "you will permit me to put on my spectacles, for I have not only grown gray but almost blind in the service of my country."
At first engaged in respectful, passive resistance to injustice. Finally, certain there was no other way he resorted to armed resistance. For Nelson Mandela, he suffered the fate spared Washington and spent nearly thirty years in prison. That he would have emerged bitter, angry and filled with hatred would have been understandable, human. But, like Washington, he had suffered in the service of his country.
Nelson Mandela's love of country, his message of hope and reconciliation, his desire to see all men and women be treated with respect and dignity regardless of skin color stands as a beacon. He takes his place in history among the greats.