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tv   Today  NBC  December 10, 2013 2:05am-3:01am PST

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mind me saying involves you being one of the first two african-american students at the university of georgia, 1961. it was a big deal and a big story at the time. >> well, you know, these relationships are intertwined. the civil rights movement and the movement to free south africa, you know, there are parallel histories, many of the same objectives, freedom and equality. and many people don't know this because they associate martin luther king primarily with the u.s. civil rights movement. but when mandela was in prison, he went in '61/'62, martin luther king spoke and described south african racism as the worst in the world, and he said even denying blacks the basic right of nonviolent protests. and, of course, you know, everybody's comparing mandela to gandhi and martin luther king, although, you know, neither of them was in favor of violence. but nelson mandela went to
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violence not to take over the country but to get the white minority regime to listen to the demands of black people. but even early in '64, martin luther king was calling for nelson mandela's release. in 1965, he spoke in london and called for internal sanctions. he echoed that in the '80s. and, of course, as you know, the free south africa movement in which president obama spoke about being a part of as a young student was very much a part of the ultimate number of things that brought an end to apartheid in south africa. i was here in '85. and as you said, it was a gruesome, gruesome period. and i went to a hilltop so that i could overlook the prison where they said nelson mandela had a garden that he used to tend. and i was so hoping, if i couldn't see him, i could see
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the garden. but, of course, i was followed by state security people and had to leave in a hurry. >> there you are, pictures of you, as a young woman sitting down with nelson mandela. >> that was at the council on foreign relations when he made his first visit to new york. >> we're going to listen in here. this is number two man in the anc. he's gone on to be a successful businessman here in south africa. so we'll join the program and jump in here to describe events as we find out they are happening. >> we can only succeed if we reach out to each other. this is the man that we have come to say farewell to, a man who has built our nation. in many ways, we are here today to tell madiba that his long walk is over, that he can finally rest, that he can enjoy
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the view of our beautiful country of south africa, a view he discovered when he began working the hills of his birthpla birthplace. his long work is over, but ours is only beginning. and with that, as we walk down memory lane, i would like us now to do what he would have wanted us to do. that is to open this memorial service with an interfaith opening prayer. i would like to call upon chief rabbi warren, the hindu faith, of the muslim faith and archbishop of the christian faith to come and give us
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opening prayers on an interfaith basis. please go ahead, chief rabbi warren. >> god and king who is full of compassion, god of the spirits of all flesh in whose hands are the souls of the living and the dead, receive we beseech you in your great loving kindness, nelson mandela who has been gathered unto his people. remember him for the righteousness which he has done. remember, o lord, how he exemplified the finest qualities of your servant, joseph, about whose great leadership, generosity of spirit and powers of forgiveness we read in your
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hebrew bible. joseph, the son of jacob, the son of isaac, the son of abraham, was thrown into a pit of snakes and scorpions by his brothers who were filled with hatred and jealousy towards him, and he was then sold into slavery and exiled from his father and from his home for 22 years, many of which, due to a terrible injustice, was spent in jail. joseph emerged from jail to become a leader and head of government of a mighty nation. and when he was reunited with his brothers, had the opportunity to exact vengeance and justice, and yet joseph, the righteous, transcended his personal pain and need for retribution by forgiving his brothers so that his family would not be torn apart and destroyed forever.
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so, too, o lord, your servant, nelson mandela, like the biblical joseph, rose up from jail to become president of a mighty nation. he, too, transcended his personal pain and years of suffering to forgive and to embrace his brothers and sisters who inflicted so much pain on him and so many millions of others in order that our diverse south african family would not be torn apart by hatred and division. madiba brought to life the ancient words of joseph when he said to his brothers in genesis chapter 50, verse 19, fear not, for am i in place of god, although you intended harm, god redirected for good in order to accomplish, as is clear this day, that a vast people be kept
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alive, so now fear not, i will sustain you and your young ones. and so he comforted them and spoke to their hearts. nelson mandela spoke to our hearts. he brought us comfort. and through his mighty power of forgiveness, he sustained us and liberated our country from the pit of prejudice and injustice, unleashing the awesome generosity of spirit of millions of south africans. let his reward be with them and his recompense. make light in your presence, his fullness of joy at your right hand forever more. bestow upon him the abounding happiness that he's treasured up for the righteous. o god who heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds, your consolation to the mourners.
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strengthen and support them in the day of their grief and sorrow and remember them and their families for a long and good life. wipe away the tears of all south africans and indeed the world. bless the people of this country, a nation of heroes who came together to transcend the pain of the past in order to build a great nation on earth and inspire our hearts to continue to walk in the path of nelson mandela, to look up to his majestic legacy. as the bible says -- [ speaking foreign language ] like one who his mother comforts, so will i comfort you, says the lord. and in jerusalem shall you be comforted. your son shall never more sit. neither shall your moon wane for the lord god shall be your
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everlasting light and the days of your mourning shall be ended, and let us say, amen. >> let us bow our heads and pray. ♪ [ speaking foreign language ] o lord, you are the giver of physical vigor and spiritual force. your order is carried out by all enlightened persons. your grace is immortality. your disfavor is death.
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to you, all bliss be offer our humble worship. for certain is the death of the born and certainly is the birth of the dead, then let's not grieve for what is inevitable. the end and the beginning are unknown. we see only the intervening formations. that is why there is no need to grieve. o supreme lord, leaders, like our father, nelson mandela, lead us from darkness to light like our father, nelson mandela, and lead us from death to immortality like our father,
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nelson mandela. may he rest in peace. amen. >> i begin with the opening chapters of the holy koran. [ speaking foreign language ] all praise is due to the almighty, not of the worlds who is unequal and unmatched in every one of his attributes. the beneficent, the merciful, the master of the day of judgment. [ speaking foreign language ] almighty lord, you alone do we worship. you alone do we seek assistance from. we extend our condolence to the
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mandela family and to the nation during this time of sadness over the passing away of madiba, a global icon of freedom in recent times. we place on record our indebtedness to madiba for his selfless efforts in salvaging the nation and leading him to the path of peace, reconciliation and harmony and laying the foundation of a free and prosperous south africa. almighty allow, our lord, our supreme lord, we beseech you that future leaders of this great country and leaders of the entire world and people of this
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country and people of the world would stand up for the ideals and vision our madiba strove for. as madiba never lost an opportunity to reconcile people. we pray to you, o almighty lord, let us strive towards peace, harmony, reconciliation on the basis of human dignity. as he made everyone feel important whenever he met them, we ask of you, almighty lord, let us acknowledge each other in our places of work and our places of residence. as he stood up to injustice in illegal wars, let us do
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likewise, even if it is waged by the powerful. as he stood up for the oppressed people of the world, we pray to you, almighty allah, to help us sustain that resolve and realize we preserve our freedom by helping others towards freedom. as he was merciful and as the prophet muhammad upon him said -- [ speaking foreign language ] have mercy and kindness to people in this world, the almighty will show kindness towards you. we ask of you, almighty, in the hearts of every human being, the seed of kindness.
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and as madiba lived an example showing us a spirit of self-sacrifice, we ask of you, almighty lord, grant us the grace of resisting corruption and temptation. and finally, on this prayer we ask, almighty allah, let us dedicate ourselves to the good ideals he strove to in his life. amen. [ speaking foreign language ] >> greater god, lord of life and love, you hold the whole universe in your hands. and yet you also, on all of our
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heads, you know the face of the nations and the hopes and fears of each individual. on this day of madiba's memorial service, we pray for peace of the world, for peace without, for peace within. jesus christ, prince of peace, may your shalom touch every place of conflict, division, brokenness or fear. may it fill our communities, families and lives from the horrors, turmoil of nations in conflict to the fragile relationships and violence of too many homes, bring your
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reconciling love. lord, we pray for south africa in particular on this memorial day, help us to draw on the best lessons of our past and build on a firm foundation that by your grace madiba laid for us. give us courage to hold fast to his values, to follow the example of his practices and to share them with the world. we lift our hearts with gratitude for your loving care that you have now called madiba home to his eternal rest where pain and suffering are no more. we commend you to his keeping
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and we commend his family to your loving embrace. as we say to madiba, go forth, revolutionary and loving soul on your journey out of this world in the name of god who created you, suffered with you and liberated you, go home, madiba. you have selflessly done all that is good, noble and honorable for god's people. we will continue where you have left off, the lord being our helper. we now turn to you, lord. it is an hour of, daness, sadness, pain and death in tears and mourning. we believe that you will console us, that you will give us the strength to hold in our hearts and minds and the courage to
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enact in our lives the values madiba fought and stood for. we turn to you, lord, that entrust madiba's soul to eternal rest and loving arms as he rejoins the madiba clan, his comrades and all the faithful departed, we pray particularly for his closest and dearest, for graca machel, for his children, grandchildren and all his relatives, may you surround them with your loving arms, embrace and comfort. in this dark time of mourning, at this perfect time when you have called him to rest and a perfect end. accept his soul and remember him with the company of the redeemed in heaven. console and comfort his family.
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console and comfort south africa, africa and the world. may his long walk to freedom be enjoyed and realized in our time by all. may he rest in peace and rise in glory. amen. ♪ nelson mandela ♪ nelson mandela ♪ nelson mandela ♪ nelson mandela ♪ nelson mandela ♪ nelson mandela
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♪ madiba ♪ madiba ♪ >> lester holt, this is coming after some of the organized prayers. a little musical interlude. >> and we'll soon be hearing from the friend and family of nelson mandela here. and you see that picture right there captures so much. people of every color who have come to represent what we call
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the new south africa here, a true tribute to mandela as you look across this crowd here that has withstood a steady light to moderate rain all morning long. we've also been watching, of course, brian, a collection of dignitaries, and you can't really overstate the complexity of the operation of getting the celebrities, the politicians, the world leaders in here safely. the south africans said they have been studying a plan for quite some time and have been working with their counterparts in the u.s. and other countries to get everyone here safely. we were on that issue of security, we were able to get in today without screening. the crowd then were bussed in. they may have been screened at another point. but when they came in, we all saw everyone come into the stadium. that may be a reflection on the mood. this is a time of joy and a time of celebration. as you noted, the dignitaries
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well protected behind their bulletproof glass on the stage. at one point during one of the prayers, the crowd just above me, on the tier just above me, just broke out in spontaneous song. and you see a lot of that here. almost mini-celebrations going on within this larger memorial, brian. >> but lester, you're so right to point out to our viewers in 2013 see nothing unusual about the shots of the crowd. it looks like a crowd. it is revolutionary and remarkable when viewed through the prism of the former system of apartheid. and was just not possible back in the south africa where blacks were to leave the streets at 9:00 p.m. in populated parts of the city and brought back to the townships. this is andrew who was an inmate along with nelson mandela.
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and he will start our series of remembrances. [ no audio ] >> let me just jump in here. this is what we feared because of the weather. this is rain fade in the tv business, and it means that waves of rain are interfering with the ability of the satellite dish to push the signal up to space and get it back down to you. if you lose audio, if you see the picture digitize briefly, that's what we're dealing with, and it's just because of this rough weather we're having here today. lester holt can still broadcast
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from inside, but it's this main camera position through south african television that we're having the problem, and we will try to stay with it. >> it is a technical marvel, how quickly all this was put together, brian. the truth is -- and i think most people understand that in these situations that quietly and in a sensitive way, preparations have been under way for quite some time for the death of nelson mandela. but, of course, things, you know, many things were put into action here in these last several days including the massive contingent of press all around the world, wiring the stadium, coordinating all the satellite technology, and weather has been an issue here. we had issues earlier in the week with the steady rain. but i think it looks like you're getting a clearer picture now. so we'll let you get back to hear the speaker. >> lester, thanks. things have cleared up a little bit. >> -- and how he touched my
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heart, my soul, my life. and those millions of south africans and continue to touch many lives around the world even after his death. i'm overjoyed by the outpouring of love and admiration by all of you here today. madiba is looking down on us w now. and he is no doubt smiling as he
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watched his beloved countrymen and women unite to celebrate his life and legacy. seldom -- >> we are again experiencing some hits, as we call them, in the signal because of the weather, the thickness of the clouds here is disrupting the satellite signal just a bit as we listen to -- try to listen to andrew, a family friend of nelson mandela who is leading off the series of tributes here. the rain has been falling rather steadily. the crowd has been mostly out in it, although those in the upper tier is protected by the overhangs. brian, as we noted, this stadium
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can seat 95,000, clearly not that many here today, but it is still continuing to fill up. >> yeah, i have to say, lester, that's a disappointment. i anticipated a completely full venue. there were two overflow venues for up to 110,000 more. i think a lot of it is a function of "a," weather, and "b," security. but luckily our feed seems to have stabilized, so we'll continue with this. >> -- with the goal to unite all colors and creeds, mutual respect and kindness. the realization of this ideal by madiba to sacrifice his
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imprisonme imprisonment, for his health and well-being. despite this, he was a role model, worked hard for his release in 1990. describing his oppressors as men of integrity who were committed themselves to ushering in a new era for south africa. nelson mandela was an inspiration to millions by implementing the values of
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sacrifice with calm and patie e patience. he had hope when there was none. it is not possible to prepare an individual of this stature. as a young man in apartheid, the ideals that he stood for were a guiding light during uncertain times. through all the struggles that we experienced the sacrifice he
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was making and principles he represented. my past with madiba was in the early '50s. a friend of mine, simon, who knew him better, introduced me to him. mr. mandela, a very wise man. not knowing our lives were intertwined and bound together by destiny. wh in the early '50s, i got to know
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madiba better. madiba's greatness as a leader stems from his humility and his great belief in the persuasion and respect. he believed in sharing insights and listening to and learning from others. when the doors to peaceful demonstration, and other political organizations, madiba persuaded them to take up arms in defense of the right of our people. we carried out what madiba was
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operating on the ground, i together with five other s othe 1961 to the end of 1962 sent out to the peoples republic. i worked together with him. upon my return from china, i became a member of the national high command, an organization that was supervising the
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activities. on the 11th of june, 1971, together with madiba, for attempting to overthrow the apartheid government through violent means. we were eventually found guilty and sentenced to life imprisonment. in prison, madiba's leadership was based on collective thinking.
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this had a significant impact on my own work with south african citizens and anc member. without mandiba's guidance, acceptance and leadership, i would not have become the man i am today. for that i cannot thank him enough. i'm certain no individual that has been fortunate enough to benefit from the example that nelson mandela set. millions of south africans and members of the international community have tried to emulate the great man. i'm told my time is up, but it should be our collective wisdom, conviction and resolve as the
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community of nations to uphold the values of nelson mandela. god bless madiba. god bless your soul. may his soul rest in peace. thank you very much. >> thank you very much. our veteran -- >> we just heard from a fellow inmate with nelson mandela for all those years of imprisonment. >> -- mandela to come and pay tribute on behalf of the family.
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>> president of the republic of south africa, the first president, president zuma. presidents, royal highnesses, excellences, eminent persons, ladies and gentlemen, on occasions such as this, charged with raw emotions, grief, sorrow and anguish, allow me to respectfully echo, official salvations have been expressed on this solemn occasion. we gather here in person at
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dedicated venues in communities around south africa and via television, radio and the worldwide web to the furthest reaches of the earth to mourn the great man but also to celebrate a glorious life well lived. today, more than any other feeling my family holds, is thankfulness for that wonderful life. on behalf of the family, we take this opportunity to extend our sincere gratitude to the religious communities and various other communities around the globe for their thoughts, prayers and messages and solidarity which they have generously extended to our family.
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indeed our pain and sorrow is daily being lessened by the national and international for our father and elder. we have always been mindful that we share madiba with the rest of south africa, africa and the rest of the world. indeed madiba was a great man. but he was humble in all things. his soul, his greatness, not just the means to dominate or impress superiority over others, means to make all men and women equal so that their lives could be lied to the fullest human potential. to him life was all about service to others and setting them free. this is what mandela's life was about.
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that is his vision for south africa and africa. and his legacy leads us on. in his lifetime, madiba mingled with kings, queens and presidents and prime ministers, captains of industry and ordinary workers. every core of his being was a man of the people. a simple man that knew that no matter how many accolades he attained in life, no matter what, he knew where he belonged. the son of south africa and child of the thembu, you will always be remembered. and what is so glorious in that
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is mandela would have wished it among those here this morning, the powerful and the weak, the rich and the poor, the mighty and the ordinary, all here serving unified peoples to mo n mourn. i'm sure madiba is smiling from above as he looks down for this is what he strove for. the equality of man. the brotherhood of humanity and the unity until his last days. that we were blessed with this amazing icon and to have his legacy is the most precious birth right which has been bestowed on us all.
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as we lift our eyes to the dawn of the new era, without a madiba on our side, we hope you will join us with all persons, support you have ordered and demonstrated on every street corner of this beautiful land and in far-flung reaches of the world. this universal show of unity is a true reflection of all that madiba stood for. peace, justice, unity of all mankind. let us pledge to keep madiba's dream alive in the way in which we honor the humanity in each other, in the way in which we live in the humanity of each other and in the way in which we raise up the impoverished. and the disabled. in this regard, we, the mandela
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family, enter into a sovereign covenant with you, the people of our country. african citizens of the world that we will recommit ourselves to the values and the ideals madiba stood for. in this spirit, we hope that you will continue to stand by us and encourage us, guide us because of you. as a family, we have no option except to be bound by the principles of nelson mandela. for he would accept no less. let the world come from the place and far beyond our borders, that we dare not stray to uphold his legacy. we implore you to do the same. the torch is passed to the next
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generation of leaders who were sent to make our world a better place. our generation needs new leaders like madiba. and so, friends, at long last, they have made a call on our brother's glorious life, he is gone before our eyes but never from our hearts and minds. as we mourn today, let us not forget that the greatest witness to his life is for us all to live in testament to his legacy. although he no longer walks among us, his legacy of
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reconciliation, the universality of humanity must continue. with this final flame now passed on, to all nations great and small, to all peoples far and wide, let us dedicate ourselves to continuing in which we travel to a world where peace, harmony p pervades. [ speaking foreign language ] thank you.
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>> at this point the grandchildren will begin speaking, or at least are scheduled to. >> -- from all over the world, we have well over 91 countries that have sent delegations. and we would like to thank them for being here. we have countries such as afghanistan, angola, algeria, argentina, australia, austria, azerbaijan, botswana, barbados, united arab emirates, belgium and many others will continue acknowledging all of them as we move on. with a view of catching up on lost time, we are now going to
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call upon madiba's grandchildren. madiba had 18 grandchildren and 12 great-grandchildren. we're going to call musa mandelmandela and others who are going to come and pay tribute to their grandfather and great-grandfather. i call them to come to the stage to come and express their tributes to their grandfather. >> on behalf of the family, i would like to thank all the heads of state that are here. thank you. madiba, struck by lightning
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bolts in the dead of night, dazed and disorientated, struggling to bid farewell to any mortal caught in the whirlwind. what do i do? when sadness and celebrations commingle, the body shudders, shakes and implodes and winds blow memories, the land dreams of a future without madiba. you are lodged in our memories. you tower over the world like a comet, leaving streaks of light for us to follow. we salute you, madiba. [ speaking foreign language ]
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[ spe >> you stole the fire from the gods. to light our path to freedom, of peace and reconciliation. a giant tree has fallen, scattering a billion bright leaves, each replicating a million messages of peace, of love and reconciliation. shall we walk in his footsteps. >> madiba, they say you are a brilliant man. they say you are a wise man. you remind them of a wise man, too. they say use warmth and charm. they say you are resilient. you are a mirror that reflects the glory and splendor of mind and heart. you retort, my people reflect
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the splendors of our dreams. you have taught us that. a group of trees break, but the tree that towers above the rest is broken by the wind. of the wind, of the land. a future where black and white, rich and poor, men, women and children must live side by side, dreaming the same dream, realizing at the crucible of time in our land, we salute you. >> thank you very much. can i ask that we should show discipline, the same level of discipline that madiba exuded when we applaud, let us applaud as someone has spoken.
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and behind me here i know th that -- >> the crowd has just now seen that president obama and mrs. obama have arrived. they came in quietly during the grandchildren's remarks. >> behind me there are people who are enthusiastic, can i ask for discipline, please. there are people behind me who are very enthusiastic who love madiba dearly. can we all be disciplined, please. i now ask the secretary-general of the united nations, mr. ban ki-moon, to come and pay tribute on behalf of the united nations.
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>> your excellency, president jacob zuma of south africa, dear loving family of nelson mandela, your majesties, your highnesses, heads of state and government, dear citizens of south africa, ladies and gentlemen, i'm deeply honored to participate in this state memorial service for the late former president nelson mandela. we join in sorrow and in
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celebration of a mighty life. what a wondrous display of this rainbow nature, a rainbow emerges from rain and the sun. it is that blending of the symbol of grief and gratitude that i feel today. i hope you will see the rainbow soon through the rain of sadness and the sorrow, our hearts. on behalf of dedications, i offer my deepest condolences to graca machel and the mandela
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family, to winnie mazikizela-mandela, the people of south africa, it is a great continent. ladies and gentlemen, this stadium holds tens of thousands of people, but even an area as big as the african continent, could not contain our pain today. south africa has lost a hero. we have lost a father. the world has lost a beloved friend and mentor. nelson mandela was more than one
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of the greatest leaders of our time. >> as 6:00 a.m. on the east coast approaches, many of our nbc stations are going to cut away for their programming and rejoin us when president obama gives his remarks in soweto for the nelson mandela memorial. >> -- from freedom and equality, for democracy and justice. his compassion stands out most. he was angry at injustice. not at individuals. he hated hatred, not the people. he showed the awesome power of possibilities and of connecting people with each other and with the true meaning

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