Nelson Mandela, R.I.P.

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President Obama Issues Comment on Nelson Mandela Passing

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Barack Obama
President Barack Obama
Photo Credit: Getty Images

This evening, President Obama briefly addressed the nation regarding Nelson Mandela's passing at the age of 95.

With a somber tone, Obama shared with the nation a quote from Mandela which embodied the essence of the former leader. It read: "I have fought against white domination and I have fought against black domination. I have cherished the ideal of a democratic and free society in which all person live together in harmony and with equal opportunities. It is an ideal which I hope to live for and to achieve. But if needs be, it is an ideal for which I am prepared to die."

President Obama went on to paint an admirable picture of the former leader affectionately known by his clan name, Madiba. "[He] transformed South Africa and moved all of us," said the Commander-in-Chief. "Mandela achieved more than could be expected of any man; he lives for the ages. To the people of South Africa, we draw strength from the renewal that you made real. That is Madiba's legacy."

At the conclusion of his remarks, President Obama asked that we all take a moment to remember Mandela's accomplishments that greatly impacted the world. "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," he wrapped up. "May God bless his memory and keep him in peace."

For more reactions from world leaders and dignitaries, visit PEOPLE.com.

PHOTO GALLERY: Nelson Mandela's Life in Pictures

  • Nelson Mandela South African President 1990.
  • Nelson Mandela, activist against Apartheid, here in his youth circa. 1950.
  • Representation
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