"Let us pause and give thanks for the fact that Nelson Mandela lived -- a man who took history in his hands, and bent the arc of the moral universe toward justice. May God Bless his memory and keep him in peace," President Barack Obama said in a statement today, as he and Secretary of State John Kerry joined world leaders in remembering the former South African President and anti-apartheid leader.
The President and Secretary offered their condolences to Mandela's family and the South African people, who often refer to Mandela as Madiba.
"Through his fierce dignity and unbending will to sacrifice his own freedom for the freedom of others, Madiba transformed South Africa -- and moved all of us. His journey from a prisoner to a President embodied the promise that human beings -- and countries -- can change for the better. His commitment to transfer power and reconcile with those who jailed him set an example that all humanity should aspire to, whether in the lives of nations or our own personal lives. And the fact that he did it all with grace and good humor, and an ability to acknowledge his own imperfections, only makes the man that much more remarkable," President Obama said.
"Madiba’s 'long walk to freedom' gave new meaning to courage, character, forgiveness, and human dignity," Secretary Kerry said. "Now that his long walk has ended, the example he set for all humanity lives on."
For more information: