American and state flags are to fly at half-staff through sunset on Monday, Dec. 9, in honor of former South African leader Nelson Mandela, who died on Dec. 5. President Barack Obama issued a proclamation for flags to be at half-staff at all federal government buildings, institutions and vessels, \u201cas a mark of respect for the memory of Nelson Mandela.\u201d In Connecticut, Gov. Dannel P. Malloy has directed that U.S. and state flags be at half-staff during this time period. \u201cNelson Mandela\u2019s \u2018long walk to freedom\u2019 changed our world for the better,\u201d Malloy said. \u201cThe cause of his life became the world\u2019s cause, and in 1987, the state of Connecticut joined him by banning state investments in companies that did business in South Africa in support of his mission of ending racial segregation policies. \u201cHis reverent passion for justice,\u201d Malloy continued, \u201cwill continue to inspire generations of citizens to improve social, political, racial and humanitarian conditions around the world.\u201d Flags also will be at half-staff Saturday, Dec. 7 in Connecticut in recognition of Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day and the lives lost in the attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941, based on a separate directive by the governor. Died at age 95 Mandela died Thursday at age 95 after years of bad health. He was the elected president of South Africa from 1994 to 1999, becoming the first black leader of the black-majority country and overcoming decades of apartheid in that nation. He previously had been imprisoned for 27 years by the white-led government due to his efforts with the African National Congress to change the apartheid system. \u2018An inspiration for freedom\u2019 In his proclamation, Obama said the United States \u201chas lost a close friend, South Africa has lost an incomparable liberator, and the world has lost an inspiration for freedom, justice and human dignity.\u201d \u201cHis journey from a prisoner to a president embodied the promise that human beings \u2014 and countries \u2014 can change for the better,\u201d Obama said in his proclamation. \u201cHis commitment to transfer power and reconcile with those who jailed him set an example that all humanity should aspire to, whether in the life of nations or our own personal lives.\u201d Commitment to nonviolence Shelton\u2019s two members of Congress issued statements on the death of Mandela. U.S. Rep. Jim Himes said Mandela \u201crose above the crushing constraints of apartheid to become a beacon of hope for a world bitterly divided by race. \u201cHis 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,\u201d Himes said. \u201cThe world has lost today one of the most influential and compelling figures in modern history,\u201d said Himes, a three-term Democrat. Rep. DeLauro: \u2018An inspiration\u2019 U.S. Rep. Rosa DeLauro said her heart \u201cis broken over the passing of this great man. An anti-apartheid icon and father of modern South Africa, Nelson Mandela was so much more than a president. He was an inspiration and symbol of how the world should be, not how it was. \u201cBeing in Johannesburg for South Africa\u2019s first ever all-race election was an honor I will never forget,\u201d said DeLauro, a 12-term Democrat. Shelton is divided between two congressional districts, represented by DeLauro (Third District) and Himes (Fourth District).