Nelson Mandela was remembered this week as a "giant of history" and "one of the greatest leaders of our time," according to news sources, as tens of thousands of people attended his memorial services Tuesday.
The former president of South Africa died Dec. 5. Nearly 100 world leaders paid tribute to the anti-apartheid icon this week at the Soweto soccer stadium that hosted the opening and closing ceremonies for the 2010 World Cup.
President Obama spoke to the attendees Tuesday, along with U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon, Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff and Cuban President Raul Castro.
"His struggle was your struggle. His triumph was your triumph," Obama said. "Your dignity and hope found expression in his life, and your freedom, your democracy is his cherished legacy. The world thanks you for sharing Nelson Mandela with us."
Mandela, who became one of the world's greatest leaders, was born in Mvezo, Transkei, on July 18, 1918. His father, Henry Gadla Mandela, was the key counsellor/advisor to the Thembu royal house.
The younger Mandela went on to bring about some of the most significant changes in South African History and politics - becoming the father of South Africa's democracy. He was instrumental in the formation of the radical African National Congress Youth League in the 1940s, which was determined to change the face of politics.
"... It was also through Mandela that the world would learn the spirit of endurance, the triumph of forgiveness and the beauty of reconciliation," his obituary reads.