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Nelson Mandela’s family has released their first statement since the death of the world leader on Thursday.

In the statement, recited by family spokesman Lt. Gen. Temba Templeton Matanzima and released to the Associated Press, the family said, “The pillar of the royal Mandela family is no more with us physically, but his spirit is still with us.”

The statement went on to read:

“We have lost a great man, a son of the soil whose greatness in our family was in the simplicity of his nature in our midst — a caring family leader who made time for all and on that score we will miss him dearly.”

It is easy to forget that while the world mourns a leader in change, the Mandela family lost their loved one.

While they continue to get through this time and South Africa prepares for a period of mourning, a decision has been made in New York City as to how they will honor Nelson Mandela.

According to the New York Daily News, Mayor Bloomberg announced on Friday that a new high school will open next September in honor of Mandela’s legacy.

The Nelson Mandela School of Social Justice will open on the campus of Boys and Girls High School in Brooklyn as a tribute to the leader. BGHS was one of the first stops Mandela made on his first trip to New York after being released from prison.

Mayor Bloomberg said regarding the announcement:

“President Mandela once said ‘Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.’ Renaming the campus he visited shortly after his release from prison, will forever serve as a reminder that our mandate as public servants is to provide our children with the weapons they need for a successful future and help us build a city of inclusion.”

New York City Schools Chancellor Dennis Walcott added: “Every time they enter and exit its doors, our students at this new school will be reminded of the values he personified.”

What a great tribute and it will not come as a big surprise if we see more schools around the world being named in honor of the great Nelson Mandela.

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