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World Reacts To Death Of Nelson Mandela

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  • South Africa President Nelson Mandela Dead At 95

    South Africa President Nelson Mandela Dead At 95

    Thursday, December 5 2013 5:12 PM EST2013-12-05 22:12:18 GMT
    JOHANNESBURG (AP) South Africa's president says Nelson Mandela has died. Mandela died Thursday after a long illness. He was 95. Mandela was taken to a hospital on June 8 for treatment for a recurring
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PHILADELPHIA -

The whole world is talking about and mourning the passing of former South African President Nelson Mandela at the age of 95.

In Johannesburg, crowds of children and adults, some of whom have been out there all night, gathered to remember the man who not only changed his country and their country but also changed the world and history.

Everybody wants to be a witness to the legacy of this great man.

Mandela spent nearly seven decades fighting for freedom and equality. He inspired the world to stand up for others.

Mandela was imprisoned for 27 years, many of them in detention, after being convicted of treason by the white minority government. But after being released from prison in 1990, he led his country out of Apartheid.

Mandela negotiated a peaceful end to segregation and urged forgiveness for the white government that had imprisoned him.

As word of his death spread, current and former presidents, athletes, entertainers and people all over the world spoke about the life and legacy of the former South African leader.

"Our nation has lost its greatest son. Our people have lost a father," said current South African President Jacob Zuma.

"Like so many around the globe, I cannot fully imagine my own life without the example that Nelson Mandela set. And so long as I live I will do what I can to learn from him," U.S. President Barack Obama said.

Obama is expected to travel to South Africa to mourn passing of Mandela, although a trip has not yet been announced.

Mandela spent much of the past year in and out of the hospital, and his illness prevented a meeting with Obama when the president visited South Africa over the summer.

Mandela will have a state funeral unfolding over the next 10 days, and a public viewing will be held at the soccer stadium in Johannesburg.

His body will then lie in state at the government building in Pretoria, and a funeral and burial will take place on the grounds of Mandela's childhood home.

Mandela and former South African President F.W. de Klerk shared the stage and a Liberty Medal in 1993 on July 4th here in Philadelphia.

During the speech delivered that day, Mandela said, "We will have to succeed to build one nation in which all South Africans will be to one another sister and brother, sharing a common destiny."

Mandela spent most of this year being ill. But we will remember him for breaking down barriers, of course, in his country that held him as a political prisoner of Apartheid for 27 years.

But it's hard to find a picture of him where he is not smiling after all he had been through in life.

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