President Barack Obama: 'Madiba' Resisted Being an IconWorld | December 10, 2013, Tuesday // 14:13| views
US President Barack Obama. Photo by EPA/BGNES
The US President Barack Obama was introduced to the podium at the memorial ceremony for Nelson Mandela, as "a son of the African soil".
President Obama was greeted with loud cheers and applause from all around the stadium.
"Nelson Mandela's struggle was your struggle. His triumph was your triumph. We will remember him as the last great liberator of the 20th century", opened Barack Obama.
The US President compared Nelson Mandela to other historic figures such as Gandhi, Martin Luther King, and Abraham Lincoln.
"He was not a bust made of marble. He was a man of flesh and blood. 'Madiba' resisted being an icon, a lifeless portrait. He shared his doubts, fears, and miscalculations. He was a son, husband, father and friend. Nothing he achieved was inevitable. He is a man who earned his place in life through struggle and faith", said Obama.
President Obama acknowledged Nelson Mandela for showing the world the power of action and taking risk. He showed that "ideas cannot be contained by prison walls".
"Mandela learned the language and customs of his oppressors to convey to them that their own freedom would one day depend on his", added Obama.
He also spoke of the ongoing struggles around the world, assuring that the struggle for human rights and dignity is not complete, and nations should not lie on the progress they have made.
The US President concluded by calling for self-reflection. He urged everybody to ask themselves how well they have applied Mandela's teachings in their own lives.
A standing ovation followed his final words.
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