President Obama eloquently delivered remarks on the death of former South African President Nelson Mandela. Here are a few excerpts, transcript courtesy of WaPo:
He achieved more than could be expected of any man.
Today he's gone home and we've lost one of the most influential, courageous and profoundly good human beings that any of us will share time with on this Earth...
His journey from a prisoner to a president embodied the promise that human beings and countries can change for the better...
As he once said, "I'm not a saint unless you think of a saint as a sinner who keeps on trying."
I am one of the countless millions who drew inspiration from Nelson Mandela's life. My very first political action -- the first thing I ever did that involved an issue or a policy or politics was a protest against apartheid. I would study his words and his writings. The day he was released from prison it gave me a sense of what human beings can do when they're guided by their hopes and not by their fears.
And like so many around the globe, I cannot fully imagine my own life without the example that Nelson Mandela set...
I only hope that the time spent with him these last few weeks brought peace and comfort to his family.
To the people of South Africa, we draw strength from the example of renewal and reconciliation and resilience that you made real: a free South Africa at peace with itself. That's an example to the world, and that's Madiba's legacy to the nation that he loved.
We will not likely see the likes of Nelson Mandela again, so it falls to us as best we can to (forward ?) the example that he set -- to make decisions guided not by hate but by love, never discount the difference that one person can make, to strive for a future that is worthy of his sacrifice.
For now, 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 towards justice.