U.S. Presidents Honor Life of Nelson Mandela

By David Li, bostonese.com

Washington, D.C., Dec. 5, 2013, — It’s rare that a political figure has been admired world-wide without much argument or controversy. It’s not often that U.S. presidents look aboard for leadership and inspiration. Today, Mr. Nelson Mandela is no longer with us.
While tweeting this picture of Mandela visiting his old jail cell, Nancy Pelosi wrote: “May the life of Nelson Mandela long stand as the ultimate tribute to the triumph of hope.”

This evening, President Obama delivered a statement on the passing of former South African President and anti-apartheid leader Nelson Mandela. In his statement, Obama called Mandela one of the most influential, courageous and profoundly good human being, and “a man who took history in his hands, and bent the arc of the moral universe toward justice.”

The follow Youtube video shows Obama’s speech. Obama mentioned that protesting against apartheid was his first involvement in political activities.

Four former U.S. presidents also made remarks on passing of Mandela, and offered condolences to his family and people of South Africa.

Former President Jimmy Carter

“Rosalynn and I are deeply saddened by the death of Nelson Mandela. The people of South Africa and human rights advocates around the world have lost a great leader. 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. In recent years, I was gratified to be able to work with him through The Elders to encourage resolution of conflicts and advance social justice and human rights in many nations. We extend our heartfelt condolences to his family at this difficult time.”

Former President George H.W. Bush

“Barbara and I mourn the passing of one of the greatest believers in freedom we have had the privilege to know. As President, I watched in wonder as Nelson Mandela had the remarkable capacity to forgive his jailers following 26 years of wrongful imprisonment — setting a powerful example of redemption and grace for us all. He was a man of tremendous moral courage, who changed the course of history in his country. Barbara and I had great respect for President Mandela, and send our condolences to his family and countrymen.”
Former President Bill Clinton

“[Nelson Mandela taught us so much about so many things. Perhaps the greatest lesson, especially for young people, is that, while bad things do happen to good people, we still have the freedom and responsibility to decide how to respond to injustice, cruelty and violence and how they will affect our spirits, hearts and minds.”

Former President George W. Bush

“Laura and I join the people of South Africa and the world in celebrating the life of Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela. President Mandela was one of the great forces for freedom and equality of our time. He bore his burdens with dignity and grace, and our world is better off because of his example. This good man will be missed, but his contributions will live on forever. Laura and I send our heartfelt sympathy to President Mandela’s family and to the citizens of the nation he loved.”