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Quotes from Leaders, Family at Mandela Memorial

Created: 12/10/2013 6:57 AM KSTP.com
By: Jennie Olson

World leaders, family, friends and thousands of mourners who queued for hours to secure a seat in Johannesburg's FNB stadium paid tribute to South Africa's anti-apartheid icon Nelson Mandela.
    
Here's a selection of quotes from the speeches at the memorial service and from mourners attending the event compiled by The Associated Press:
    
"For the people of South Africa, for those he inspired around the globe - Madiba's passing is rightly a time of mourning, and a time to celebrate a heroic life," said United States President Barack Obama in his speech at the memorial service, calling Mandela a "a giant of history ... In the arc of his life, we see a man who earned his place in history through struggle and shrewdness; through persistence and faith ... He accepted the consequences of his actions, knowing that standing up to powerful interests and injustice carries a price."
    
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Mandela family friend Andrew Mlangeni said in his opening remarks Mandela "created hope where there was none." ''He touched my heart, my soul, my life and those of the millions of South Africans," he added.
    
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"To him, life was all about service to others," said family member Gen. Thanduxolo Mandela.  "He mingled with kings, queens and presidents ... At the core, he was a man of the people.
    
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"Mr. Mandela was more than one of the greatest pillars of our time," United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said in his speech at the service. "He was one of our greatest teachers. He taught by example. He sacrificed so much ... for freedom and equality, for democracy and justice."
    
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"He also was a source of inspiration for similar struggles in Brazil and across South America," Brazilian President President Dilma Rousseff said through a translator. "His fight reached way beyond his nation's border and inspired young men and women to fight for independence and social justice."
    
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"Mr. Mandela was the pride of the African people," Chinese Vice President Li Yuanchao said through a translator. "He has dedicated his entire life to the development and progress of the African content."
    
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"His life was just an extraordinary journey, from beginning to end, with such an effect, both on his own country, and on the rest of the world," former British Prime Minister Gordon Brown said before the service. "So, enjoy today, enjoy and celebrate what he achieved. We may not see his like again."
    
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"I think Madiba would like us to celebrate and not be sad, to have smiles on our faces," said Muhammad Choonara, a 24-year-old university student, before the memorial. Madiba is Mandela's clan name that most South African use as an endearment when speaking about the former president.
    
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"Mandela was a very humble man and he gave himself to the world. He sacrificed time with his family for us and for me. It is a privilege to be here, it is a humbling experience," said Dipolelo Moshe, 35, who works for a marketing company. She had a South African flag draped over her shoulders and was carrying a big photo of Mandela as she stood in line at the stadium.
    
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"I would not have the life I have today if it was not for him. I'm here to show my gratitude to Madiba. He was jailed so we could have our freedom," said Matlhogonolo Mothoagae, 24, a marketing student, as he lined up to enter the stadium.

(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)


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