Nelson Mandela Memorial: President Barack Obama’s Tribute To Madiba

Members of the public sing and dance as they arrive for the memorial service at FNB Stadium.

Dignitaries from all over the world stand at the beginning of the memorial service. A man raises his fist during the memorial service. Mandela’s face looms large on a billboard inside FNB Stadium. President Barack Obama addresses the crowd during the memorial service. Obama shakes hands with Cuban President Raul Castro just before speaking. Girls dance during the memorial service at FNB stadium. Mourners pause for a prayer during the memorial service.
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Mandela Memorial: Obama’s Speech

We, too, must act on behalf of justice. We, too, must act on behalf of peace. There are too many of us who happily embrace Madibas legacy of racial reconciliation, but passionately resist even modest reforms that would challenge chronic poverty and growing inequality. There are too many leaders who claim solidarity with Madibas struggle for freedom, but do not tolerate dissent from their own people. And there are too many of us who stand on the sidelines, comfortable in complacency or cynicism when our voices must be heard. The questions we face today how to promote equality and justice; to uphold freedom and human rights; to end conflict and sectarian war do not have easy answers. But there were no easy answers in front of that child in Qunu. Nelson Mandela reminds us that it always seems impossible until it is done. South Africa shows us that is true. South Africa shows us we can change. We can choose to live in a world defined not by our differences, but by our common hopes.
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Nelson Mandela’s Emotional Memorial — Watch The Livestream

It was estimated before the ceremony that more than 125,000 people would be in attendance to remember Mandela. Despite heavy rain, people were in a celebratory mood inside the stadium, cheering for Mandelas life and blowing vuvuzela plastic horns. Cyril Ramaphosa, the president of the ruling African National Congress party who opened the memorial proceedings, said, In our tradition, when it rains when you are buried, your gods are welcoming you to heaven. 59 heads of state from around the world were on hand, including President Barack Obama and his wife,Michelle Obama. FormerPresident George W. Bush and his wife, Laura Bush, former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton,Former President Bill Clinton,Former President Jimmy Carter, Bono, Charlize Theronalso attended the memorial service. President Obama gave a touching speech about the legendary leader, calling hima giant of history who moved the nation toward justice and, in the process, moved billions around the world. He also referred to Mandela asthe last great liberator of the 20th century. He concluded with, While I will always fall short of Madibas example, he makes me want to be a better man. Let us search for his strength, let us search for his largeness of spirit somewhere inside of ourselves. We will never see the likes of Nelson Mandela


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