Flags at the New York State Capitol and across the state have been lowered to half-staff to honor the life of Nelson Mandela, who died Thursday at the age of 95.
Cuomo issued the order late Thursday after news spread of Mandela’s death.
“Nelson Mandela refused to accept injustice, fought relentlessly for what was right, and showed that a dedicated person of courage actually can change the course of history,” Cuomo said in a statement. “His struggle to end racism, poverty and inequality began with his fight against apartheid, continued through his service as the first black President of South Africa and is now passed on for the world to continue.”
Mandela’s death drew statements from a number of New York officials and political leaders. Here’s a sample:
State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli: “The world has lost one of its great moral leaders and a true light among nations with the passing of Nelson Mandela. He was a universal symbol of strength, equality and justice and what one individual can do when dedicated to change. At a time when the world needed leaders, he stood out and his legacy will continue to inspire people for generations.”
State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman: “I join millions of people around the world in expressing my deep sadness over the passing of Nelson Mandela. His commitment to the cause of equal rights has long served as an international symbol of change and unity for people of all races and cultures.”
Senate Independent Democratic Leader Jeff Klein, D-Bronx: “Today the world has lost one of the greatest humanitarians and civil rights leaders in history. As he led his country from deep racial divides to democracy, Nelson Mandela chose forgiveness over vengeance and reconciliation over conflict. His legacy will live on as an inspiration to all who fight for justice and equality. This evening, I join countless people across the world in mourning the passing of the remarkable Nelson Mandela.”
Senate Republican Leader Dean Skelos, R-Nassau County: “Nelson Mandela was recognized around the world as an enduring symbol of peace and freedom, and was an inspiration to everyone. He was a great humanitarian who persevered through great suffering to lead an historic revolution against racial oppression. His passing today is a tremendous loss, but his legacy will always be remembered.”
Former New York City Mayor David Dinkins: “Nelson Mandela fought the good fight, he finished his course, he kept the faith and now he can rest. He has left us with so much more than memories – he has left us a rich legacy of his strength, a legacy of his warmth and charm, and a legacy of the great gifts of his courage and wisdom.”