“The Last Great Liberator”: President Obama Gives Rousing Speech At Nelson Mandela’s...

“The Last Great Liberator”: President Obama Gives Rousing Speech At Nelson Mandela’s Memorial (PHOTOS)

By Idoreyin Sampson | Sub-Editor on December 10, 2013
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Eulogy: U.S. President Barack Obama acknowledges the crowd as he delivers his speech at the memorial service for Nelson Mandela in Johannesburg

President Obama today, at the FBN Stadium in Soweto, joined over 90 world leaders, including Nigeria’s President Goodluck Jonathan, in paying respects to Nelson Mandela, former South African President. He arrived this morning on board Air Force One in the company of his wife, Michelle, former US President, George W. Bush and his wife, Laura and former US Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton.

Obama received a rousing welcome at the stadium in sharp contrast to South Africa’s President, Jacob Zuma who was loudly booed by the crowd.

Eulogy: U.S. President Barack Obama delivers his speech at the memorial service for Nelson Mandela at the FNB soccer stadium in Johannesburg
Eulogy: U.S. President Barack Obama delivers his speech at the memorial service for Nelson Mandela at the FNB soccer stadium in Johannesburg
Giving his condolences: President Obama kisses Nelson Mandela's widow Graca Machel during the memorial service
Giving his condolences: President Obama kisses Nelson Mandela’s widow Graca Machel during the memorial service

See below the highlights of President Obama’s rousing speech.  (More Photos Below)

To the people of South Africa – people of every race and walk of life – the world thanks you for sharing Nelson Mandela with us. His struggle was your struggle. His triumph was your triumph.

Born during World War I, far from the corridors of power, a boy raised herding cattle and tutored by elders of his Thembu tribe – Madiba would emerge as the last great liberator of the 20th century.

He was not a bust made of marble; he was a man of flesh and blood – a son and husband, a father and a friend.

Mandela showed us the power of action; of taking risks on behalf of our ideals.

Mandela understood the ties that bind the human spirit. There is a word in South Africa – ‘Ubuntu’ – that describes his greatest gift: his recognition that we are all bound together in ways that can be invisible to the eye; that there is a oneness to humanity; that we achieve ourselves by sharing ourselves with others, and caring for those around us.

It took a man like Madiba to free not just the prisoner, but the jailer as well; to show that you must trust others so that they may trust you; to teach that reconciliation is not a matter of ignoring a cruel past, but a means of confronting it with inclusion, generosity and truth. He changed laws, but also hearts.

There are too many of us who happily embrace Madiba’s 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 Madiba’s 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.

We will never see the likes of Nelson Mandela again. But let me say to the young people of Africa, and young people around the world – you can make his life’s work your own. Over thirty years ago, while still a student, I learned of Mandela and the struggles in this land. It stirred something in me. It woke me up to my responsibilities – to others, and to myself – and set me on an improbable journey that finds me here today. And while I will always fall short of Madiba’s example, he makes me want to be better.

Historic: The handshake between the leaders of the two Cold War enemies came during a ceremony that focused on Mandela's legacy of reconciliation
Historic: The handshake between the leaders of the two Cold War enemies came during a ceremony that focused on Mandela’s legacy of reconciliation
Rare display of unity: President Obama shakes hands with Cuban leader Raul Castro in spite of the animosity between them
Rare display of unity: President Obama shakes hands with Cuban leader Raul Castro in spite of the animosity between them
Prominent role: U.S. President Barack Obama, who will deliver a eulogy at the service, is joined by First Lady Michelle (right)
Prominent role: U.S. President Barack Obama, who will deliver a eulogy at the service, is joined by First Lady Michelle (right)
'His triumph was your triumph': President Barrack Obama is shown on a big screen as he delivers his eulogy to flag-waving and umbrella-holding mourners
‘His triumph was your triumph’: President Barrack Obama is shown on a big screen as he delivers his eulogy to flag-waving and umbrella-holding mourners
Cheers: When America's first couple flashed up on screen the crowd roared their approval of the U.S.'s first black President
Cheers: When America’s first couple flashed up on screen the crowd roared their approval of the U.S.’s first black President
Tough conditions: Mr Obama was delayed because his motorcade struggled through the rain-soaked route to the World Cup stadium
Tough conditions: Mr Obama was delayed because his motorcade struggled through the rain-soaked route to the World Cup stadium
Two very different receptions: Mr Obama, who was greeted with prolonged applause, embraces South African president Jacob Zuma, who was loudly booed
Two very different receptions: Mr Obama, who was greeted with prolonged applause, embraces South African president Jacob Zuma, who was loudly booed
Wet, but well received: President Barrack Obama greets members of the crowd in the pouring rain after making his speech
Wet, but well received: President Barrack Obama greets members of the crowd in the pouring rain after making his speech
Homage: Obama paid an emotional tribute to Nelson Mandela, thanking the people of South Africa for 'sharing' their former president with the world
Homage: Obama paid an emotional tribute to Nelson Mandela, thanking the people of South Africa for ‘sharing’ their former president with the world
Respect: Nelson Mandela is shown on a giant screen inside the stadium as thousands of South Africans and global dignitaries file into the ground
Respect: Nelson Mandela is shown on a giant screen inside the stadium as thousands of South Africans and global dignitaries file into the ground
Fitting setting: A general view of the arena which was the location of Mr Mandela's first speech in Johannesburg after he was released from prison in 1990
Fitting setting: A general view of the arena which was the location of Mr Mandela’s first speech in Johannesburg after he was released from prison in 1990
A man waves a South African flag: South Africans have been praised for the 'dignified' way in which they have commemorated Mr Mandela's death
A man waves a South African flag: South Africans have been praised for the ‘dignified’ way in which they have commemorated Mr Mandela’s death
Umbrella weather: The ceremony started an hour late in the pouring rain to allow dignitaries and members of the public to file in to the arena
Umbrella weather: The ceremony started an hour late in the pouring rain to allow dignitaries and members of the public to file in to the arena

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Colourful: A woman dressed in the regalia of the South African national rugby team arriving at the stadium
Colourful: A woman dressed in the regalia of the South African national rugby team arriving at the stadium
The highest spots: Spectators gather ahead of the Tuesday memorial ceremony
The highest spots: Spectators gather ahead of the Tuesday memorial ceremony
Celebration: A mourner wearing a wig in the South African national colours arrives at the stadium
Celebration: A mourner wearing a wig in the South African national colours arrives at the stadium
Unity: Mandela is loved by South Africans for his efforts to transform the racially divided country into the 'Rainbow Nation'
Unity: Mandela is loved by South Africans for his efforts to transform the racially divided country into the ‘Rainbow Nation’
Dance: Many of those inside the stadium were dancing to celebrate the life of the former leader
Dance: Many of those inside the stadium were dancing to celebrate the life of the former leader
Hero: Mandela's death has united South Africa in mourning for the past five days
Hero: Mandela’s death has united South Africa in mourning for the past five days
Drizzle: But mourners were not deterred by the rain in Johannesburg as they arrived at the stadium
Drizzle: But mourners were not deterred by the rain in Johannesburg as they arrived at the stadium
Carnival atmosphere: Even before the start of the service thousands had gathered to celebrate the life of the former president
Carnival atmosphere: Even before the start of the service thousands had gathered to celebrate the life of the former president
Passion: The huge number of mourners at the ceremony is testimony to the impact Mandela made on his country
Passion: The huge number of mourners at the ceremony is testimony to the impact Mandela made on his country
Unity: Mandela is loved by South Africans for his efforts to transform the racially divided country into the 'Rainbow Nation'
Unity: Mandela is loved by South Africans for his efforts to transform the racially divided country into the ‘Rainbow Nation’
Father of the country: Many, like this little boy, refer to the former president using his tribal name, Madiba
Father of the country: Many, like this little boy, refer to the former president using his tribal name, Madiba
Politics: A supporter waves the flag of the African National Congress, the liberation movement which became Mandela's political party
Politics: A supporter waves the flag of the African National Congress, the liberation movement which became Mandela’s political party
Banner: Supporters carrying a large sign which paid tribute to Mandela's lasting legacy in South Africa and the rest of the world
Banner: Supporters carrying a large sign which paid tribute to Mandela’s lasting legacy in South Africa and the rest of the world
Queues: Members of the public clutching umbrellas to protect against the rain file in to the stadium in Soweto
Queues: Members of the public clutching umbrellas to protect against the rain file in to the stadium in Soweto
Getting ready: Crowds have been piling up around the First National Bank stadium where Mandela's memorial service will be held on Tuesday
Getting ready: Crowds have been piling up around the First National Bank stadium where Mandela’s memorial service will be held on Tuesday
Prepared: People filled the stadium on Tuesday hours before the dignitaries arrived
Prepared: People filled the stadium on Tuesday hours before the dignitaries arrived
Ready to celebrate: It has been five days since the 95-year-old former President died
Ready to celebrate: It has been five days since the 95-year-old former President died
Festive: Men singing in the queue for the ceremony at South Africa's largest football stadium
Festive: Men singing in the queue for the ceremony at South Africa’s largest football stadium
Paternal: Mandela was often known at 'Tata', or 'Father', by South Africans grateful for his legacy
Paternal: Mandela was often known at ‘Tata’, or ‘Father’, by South Africans grateful for his legacy
Filling the seats: The stadium, dubbed 'Soccer City', holds 90,000 but there have been overflow areas planned in advance as organizers are worried about an unruly turn out
Filling the seats: The stadium, dubbed ‘Soccer City’, holds 90,000 but there have been overflow areas planned in advance as organizers are worried about an unruly turn out
Downpout: The rain did not deter the good-natured crowds and provided a business opportunity for entrepreneurial bystanders
Downpout: The rain did not deter the good-natured crowds and provided a business opportunity for entrepreneurial bystanders
His final appearance: It was in 'Soccer City' in 2010 where former President Mandela was last seen publicly before he stopped going to large events due to his ailing health
His final appearance: It was in ‘Soccer City’ in 2010 where former President Mandela was last seen publicly before he stopped going to large events due to his ailing health
Inspiration: 14-year-old Thomas looks out across the arena as the crowds start to file in for the memorial service
Inspiration: 14-year-old Thomas looks out across the arena as the crowds start to file in for the memorial service
Programme: The events were scheduled to include talks by world leaders as well as tributes from Mandela's family
Programme: The events were scheduled to include talks by world leaders as well as tributes from Mandela’s family
Successor: Former South African President Thabo Mbeki (left) is welcomed as he arrives at the FNB Stadium
Successor: Former South African President Thabo Mbeki (left) is welcomed as he arrives at the FNB Stadium
Successor: Former South African President Thabo Mbeki inside the venue with his wife Zanele (right)
Successor: Former South African President Thabo Mbeki inside the venue with his wife Zanele (right)
Outside: A mourner holding a South African flag on the outskirts of the FNB Stadium this morning
Outside: A mourner holding a South African flag on the outskirts of the FNB Stadium this morning
Uganda's President Yoweri Museveni
Uganda’s President Yoweri Museveni
Malawi's President Joyce Banda (right) arrive at Waterkloof
Malawi’s President Joyce Banda (right) arrive at Waterkloof
Equatorial Guinea's president Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo arrived in South Africa on Monday night
Equatorial Guinea’s president Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo arrived in South Africa on Monday night
Kenya's President Uhuru Kenyatta also arrived on Monday night
Kenya’s President Uhuru Kenyatta also arrived on Monday night
Welcoming committee: President Obama and Michelle (who is covered by an umbrella) are greeted Tuesday morning on the tarmac in Johannesburg by International Relations Minister Maite Nkoane-Mashabane (center)
Welcoming committee: President Obama and Michelle (who is covered by an umbrella) are greeted Tuesday morning on the tarmac in Johannesburg by International Relations Minister Maite Nkoane-Mashabane (center)
Touching down: President Obama and First Lady Michelle looked collected and sombre after coming off the 17-hour flight on Air Force One
Touching down: President Obama and First Lady Michelle looked collected and sombre after coming off the 17-hour flight on Air Force One
Jovial: Former UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan (left) and retired Anglican Archbishop Desmond Tutu appear in good spirits as they arrive for the service
Jovial: Former UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan (left) and retired Anglican Archbishop Desmond Tutu appear in good spirits as they arrive for the service
Respected: Former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan arrived with Archbishop Desmond Tutu and former President Jimmy Carter
Respected: Former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan arrived with Archbishop Desmond Tutu and former President Jimmy Carter
Stars: U2 singer Bono and South African actress Charlize Theron talking in the crowd at the ceremony
Stars: U2 singer Bono and South African actress Charlize Theron talking in the crowd at the ceremony
Lines of succession: Obama led the Americans, followed by Michelle, then former President George Bush, Laura Bush, and Hillary Clinton seen just slightly at the end
Lines of succession: Obama led the Americans, followed by Michelle, then former President George Bush, Laura Bush, and Hillary Clinton seen just slightly at the end
Former President George W. Bush and his wife Laura are seen coming off of Air Force One after the Obamas as the two couples shared the plane with former Secretary of State and first lady Hillary Clinton
Former President George W. Bush and his wife Laura are seen coming off of Air Force One after the Obamas as the two couples shared the plane with former Secretary of State and first lady Hillary Clinton
Embraced: Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair (left) is greeted after arriving for the memorial service in Johannesburg
Embraced: Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair (left) is greeted after arriving for the memorial service in Johannesburg
Sense of humour: Former President of Ireland Mary Robinson (left) chats with Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu arrive inside the FNB stadium
Sense of humour: Former President of Ireland Mary Robinson (left) chats with Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu arrive inside the FNB stadium
Springboks: South Africa's rugby captain Jean de Villiers and his predecessor Francois Pienaar were among the mourners
Springboks: South Africa’s rugby captain Jean de Villiers and his predecessor Francois Pienaar were among the mourners
United: When Mandela handed the rugby world cup to Pienaar it was considered a landslide moment in the post-apartheid era
United: When Mandela handed the rugby world cup to Pienaar it was considered a landslide moment in the post-apartheid era
Mourning: Mr Mandela's former wife Winnie Mandela Madikizela (centre), who famously greeted her husband as he left prison, arrives at the ceremony
Mourning: Mr Mandela’s former wife Winnie Mandela Madikizela (centre), who famously greeted her husband as he left prison, arrives at the ceremony
Not attending: Russia's president Vladimir Putin today signed a book of condolence for Mandela's death at the South African embassy in Moscow
Not attending: Russia’s president Vladimir Putin today signed a book of condolence for Mandela’s death at the South African embassy in Moscow
Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe and his wife Grace Mugabe (centre) arrive in Pretoria ahead of the memorial
Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe and his wife Grace Mugabe (centre) arrive in Pretoria ahead of the memorial
Controversial: Reviled Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe is questioned by reporters as he makes his way into the stadium
Controversial: Reviled Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe is questioned by reporters as he makes his way into the stadium
Family affair: (front row) Mr Mandela's daughters Zindzi, Zenani and Makaziwe Mandela, ex-wife Winnie Mandela Madikizela and widow Graca Machel before the service
Family affair: (front row) Mr Mandela’s daughters Zindzi, Zenani and Makaziwe Mandela, ex-wife Winnie Mandela Madikizela and widow Graca Machel before the service
Relatives: Mr Mandela's ex-wife Winnie Mandela Madikizela (left) and his widow Graca Machel (far right) take their seats in the stadium
Relatives: Mr Mandela’s ex-wife Winnie Mandela Madikizela (left) and his widow Graca Machel (far right) take their seats in the stadium
Pakistani President Mamnoon Hussain (centre) is also on the guestlist for the prestigious memorial
Pakistani President Mamnoon Hussain (centre) is also on the guestlist for the prestigious memorial
Successor: Jacob Zuma, the current president of South Africa, gave the keynote speech during the ceremony
Successor: Jacob Zuma, the current president of South Africa, gave the keynote speech during the ceremony
Ally: FW de Klerk, who was awarded the Nobel Prize along with Mandela for his role in ending apartheid, arrives with his wife Elita
Ally: FW de Klerk, who was awarded the Nobel Prize along with Mandela for his role in ending apartheid, arrives with his wife Elita
Representatives: David Cameron and Nick Clegg were attending the ceremony along with three former Prime Ministers of Britain
Representatives: David Cameron and Nick Clegg were attending the ceremony along with three former Prime Ministers of Britain
Representatives: David Cameron and Nick Clegg were attending the ceremony along with three former Prime Ministers of Britain
Representatives: David Cameron and Nick Clegg were attending the ceremony along with three former Prime Ministers of Britain
Arrival: Mr Cameron, Mr Clegg and John Major walking in to the FNB Stadium this morning
Arrival: Mr Cameron, Mr Clegg and John Major walking in to the FNB Stadium this morning

Noami Cambel The Trent 2

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