Monday, Jul 28th

Last updateSat, 26 Jul 2014 11pm

You are here: Home Opinion Paula I. Bryant Gentle giant

Gentle giant

Our hearts were saddened to learn of the death of South African President Nelson Mandela, a true gentle giant who died last Thursday at the age of 95 following a long illness. 

Much has been said and written about this statesman and his enduring fight for human rights and justice that helped tear down racial barriers and end the institution of apartheid in his nation.

Mandela’s life of sacrifice and service is an example to all of what one man can do to advance progress and inspire a nation.

At his trial in 1964, Nelson Mandela closed his statement from the dock saying, “I have fought against white domination, and I have fought against black domination.  I have cherished the ideal of a democratic and free society in which all persons live together in harmony and with equal opportunities.  It is an ideal which I hope to live for and to achieve.  But if needs be, it is an ideal for which I am prepared to die.”

Mandela emerged from prison 27 years later to lead South Africa out of its dark days of apartheid.

He would go on to live for that ideal almost 50 years. Our world is a better place thanks to the spirited Mandela whose positive life and contributions to a cause will live on as his legacy.

This great man will be remembered for many things, but his message of reconciliation and forgiveness are those that will resonate the most.

Prior to a state funeral on Sunday, his body will lie in state at the seat of government in Pretoria, where he served as president

He will be laid to rest in his ancestral hometown of Qunu in the Eastern Cape province in a state funeral.

May he rest in peace.


New ‘Virginia is for Lovers’ plate unveiled

The “Virginia is for Lovers” license plate will become the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles’ (DMV) standard-issue plate beginning in March.  

The new plate was unveiled last week during the Governor’s Transportation Conference, themed “Road to the Future,” at the Greater Richmond Convention Center. The new plate design will replace the plain blue and white plates which have been the standard for the past couple of decades.        

Speaking about the announcement, Governor Bob McDonnell said, “In 2007, we honored on Virginia plates the anniversary of the founding of America at Jamestown. Soon, we will utilize Virginia’s timeless slogan to help promote our great commonwealth. Every time a Virginia-registered car sporting one of these tags travels outside of the state, people around the nation will be reminded that Virginia is a tremendous destination for businesses and tourists.”

 The license plate also will feature the website, the commonwealth’s official travel and tourism website, which has been recognized as the best tourism website in the country. 

The “Virginia is for Lovers” slogan will celebrate its 45th birthday in 2014.  The phrase came from a creative team headed by a Richmond advertising agency, now known as the Martin Agency, which won the Virginia State Travel Service account in 1968. The first ad mentioning the new slogan ran in the March 1969 issue of “Modern Bride.”

By popular vote, “Virginia is for Lovers” was inducted into the Madison Avenue Advertising Walk of Fame on Sept. 21, 2009. The slogan was included in the Advertising Icon Museum alongside fellow 2009 inductees, the AOL Running Man, the Budweiser Clydesdales and State Farm’s “Like a Good Neighbor, State Farm is There.”  This recognition came on the heels of tapping “Virginia is for Lovers” as one of the top 10 tourism marketing campaigns of all time.

No one knows exactly why “Virginia is for Lovers” has been so durable, but part of the mystique of the slogan is that it has meant many things to different people. Today, a new generation is discovering love for Virginia’s mountains, beaches, history, theme parks, vibrant cities, outdoor activities, sports and hospitality. 

And now, Virginia’s love story will hit the roads in March.