JOHANNESBURG (WKOW) -- President Barack Obama closed his eulogy at Nelson Mandela’s memorial service in Johannesburg by marveling at what a “magnificent soul” the anti-apartheid icon was.
Obama says Nelson Mandela earned his place in history through struggle, shrewdness, persistence and faith.
In his eulogy, Obama compared Mandela to Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Luther King Jr. and Abraham Lincoln.
Obama is urging the world to act on Mandela's legacy by fighting inequality, poverty and racism. He says progress in the U.S. and South Africa mustn't cloud the fact there's still work to be done. He says South Africa shows us that we can change.
During the ceremony focused on Mandela’s legacy of reconciliation, Obama shook hands with Cuban President Raul Castro in a greeting line of world leaders and heads of state. Recently, the U.S. and Cuba have taken steps towards dissolving tensions. Another leader Obama shook hands with Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff. This is despite the two having clashed over alleged spying by the National Security Agency.
Obama calls Mandela the last great liberator of the 20th century, and says he thinks about how to apply Mandela's lessons to himself as a man and as president.
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