Politicians and average citizens Thursday mourned the passing of Nelson Mandela, the extraordinary human rights leader and former South African president.
Mandela died Thursday at 95.
“Today the world has lost one of the great defenders of human dignity," said Rep. Nita Lowey (D-NY) "Nelson Mandela was a hero – not only to the people of South Africa, whose fate he helped reshape, but to all those who believe in equality, human rights, and freedom.”
Connecticut Gov. Dannel P. Malloy said Mandela changed our world for the better.
“His reverent passion for justice will continue to inspire generations of citizens to improve social, political, racial, and humanitarian conditions around the world. While the news of his passing is cause for sorrow, we should be forever grateful for his incomparable contribution to the cause for equality,” Malloy said.
Facebook and Twitter were flooded with messages of love for the activist.
"The world has lost Nelson Mandela, but his legacy of unifying his country as gracefully as he did for the justest cause will endure forever," Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino wrote on Twitter.
Former President Bill Clinton posted a photo of himself and Mandela smiling and holding hands.
"I will never forget my friend Madiba," the Chappaqua resident wrote.
Rep. Jim Himes (D-CT) said the world has lost "one of the most influential and compelling figures in modern history."
“Nelson Mandela rose above the crushing constraints of apartheid to become a beacon of hope for a world bitterly divided by race," he said. "His passion for justice and social change combined with his commitment to the principles of nonviolence and perseverance made him a powerful messenger of freedom, peace, and equality where these ideals had been spurned for too long."