Obama: Mandela 'Belongs to the Ages'

President says Mandela's example made his own life possible

By Newser Editors and Wire Services

Posted Dec 5, 2013 5:02 PM CST

(Newser) – President Obama today paid homage to Nelson Mandela shortly after the former South African leader's death was announced, reports Politico and AP. "He no longer belongs to us," said Obama. "He belongs to the ages." Some other highlights:

  • Mandela was “a man who took history in his hands and bent the arc of the moral universe toward justice.”
  • “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, to never discount the difference that one person can make, to strive for a future that is worthy of his sacrifice."
  • “I cannot fully imagine my own life without the example that Nelson Mandela set. So long as I live, I will do what I can to learn from him.”

Other tributes:

  • Music: Billboard rounds up 10 musical salutes to Mandela, from Bono to Public Enemy.
  • Jimmy Carter: "His passion for freedom and justice created new hope for generations of oppressed people worldwide, and because of him, South Africa is today one of the world's leading democracies."
  • Tony Blair: "Through his dignity, grace, and the quality of his forgiveness, he made racism everywhere not just immoral but stupid."
  • UN Secretary-General Ban Ki Moon: "Only because of such a great man like Nelson Mandela is it possible that particular people in Africa and elsewhere are able to enjoy freedom and human dignity."

In this July 16, 2013, photo, a portrait of former South African President Nelson Mandela is seen on a wall outside his hospital in Pretoria.
In this July 16, 2013, photo, a portrait of former South African President Nelson Mandela is seen on a wall outside his hospital in Pretoria.   (AP Photo/Themba Hadebe)
In this July 24, 2007, photo, celebrates his birthday with children at the Nelson Mandela Children's Fund in Johannesburg.
In this July 24, 2007, photo, celebrates his birthday with children at the Nelson Mandela Children's Fund in Johannesburg.   (AP Photo/Denis Farrell, File)
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