SF civic memorial honors Mandela legacy

San Francisco will pay tribute to the life and legacy of Nelson Mandela today during a civic memorial for the former president of South Africa, who passed away Thursday at age 95.

The memorial is scheduled to take place at 8 a.m. in the City Hall rotunda. The event joins tributes that have been held around the world in honor of the statesman and 20th-century icon, including a massive memorial in Johannesburg on Tuesday.

“Nelson Mandela forever changed the world, and San Francisco has felt the global movement that he created,” Mayor Ed Lee said. “While we mourn his loss, we will honor Nelson Mandela’s legacy to help empower communities everywhere and never stop fighting for equality for all.”

The San Francisco memorial will bring together diverse communities to celebrate the legacy of Mandela, who rose to become South Africa’s first black president after spending 27 years in prison. Former Mayor Willie Brown will chair the event.

In honor of Mandela, all flags on city grounds and buildings will be flown at half-staff until sunset Sunday.

Lee also has opened a condolence book for the public to sign, which will be available from 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. through Friday in the Mayor’s Office, Room 200, at City Hall.

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