Mayor Bell calls Mandela the 'George Washington' of South Africa - ABC 33/40 - Birmingham News, Weather, Sports

Mayor Bell calls Mandela the 'George Washington' of South Africa

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Birmingham Mayor William Bell spoke to ABC 33/40 about the death of former South African President Nelson Mandela, Thursday, December 5, 2013. Birmingham Mayor William Bell spoke to ABC 33/40 about the death of former South African President Nelson Mandela, Thursday, December 5, 2013.

News of the death of former South African President and iconic human rights activist Nelson Mandela spread worldwide Thursday afternoon, even prompting reaction and reflection from leaders in Birmingham.

Mayor William Bell spoke with ABC 33/40 about Mandela's death, calling him the "George Washington" of South Africa.

"He has the love and respect from people all around the world," Bell said. "His passing reminds us that we all have a temporary time on this stage of life, but the impact that we make while we're in this world will last beyond our lifetime."

Ahmad Ward, the Head of Education at the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute, said the passing of Mandela serves as a time for people to reflect on his accomplishments.

"It's a sad day, but at the same time it's a good opportunity for us to reflect on his impact and how much he has done for the world-view of human rights, not just for what he did for South Africa."

Click here to read a timeline of major events in Mandela's life.

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