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President Obama Speaks at a Memorial Service for Nelson Mandela

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    [cheers]
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    Thank you.
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    [cheers]
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    Thank you.
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    [cheers]
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    Thank you so much.
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    [cheers]
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    Thank you.
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    [cheers]
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    To Graça Machel and the Mandela family;
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    To President Zuma and members of the government;
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    to heads of states and goverments
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    -- past and present --
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    distinguished guests.
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    It is a singular honor to be with you today
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    to celebrate a life like no other
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    To the people of South Africa
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    [cheers]
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    People of every race and every walk of life
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    the world thanks you
    for sharing Nelson Mandela with us
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    His struggle was your struggle
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    his triumph was your triumph,
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    your dignity and your hope
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    found expression in his life and your freedom
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    Your democracy
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    it's his cherished legacy
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    It is hard to eulogize any man
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    to capture in words
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    not just the facts and the dates that make a life
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    but the essential truth of a person
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    the private joys and sorrows
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    the quiet moments and uniue qualities
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    that illuminate someone's soul
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    How much harder to do so for a giant of history
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    who moved a nation towards justice
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    and in the process moved billions around the world
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    Born during the World War I
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    fired from court orders of power
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    a boy raised herding cattle
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    and tutored by the elders of his Mambu tribe
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    Madiba would emerge
    as the last great liberator of the 20th century.
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    Like Gandhi, he would lead a resistence movement
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    a movement
    that at the start had little prospect for success
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    Like Dr. King, he would give potent voice
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    to the claims of the oppressed
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    and the moral necessity of racial justice
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    He would endure a brutal imprisonment
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    that began in the time of Kennedy and Khrushchev
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    and reached the final days of the Cold War
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    Emerging from prison without the force of arms
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    he would -- like Abraham Lincoln --
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    hold his country together
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    when it threaten to break apart
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    and like America's founding fathers he would erect
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    a constitutional order
    to preserve freedom for future generations
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    A commitment to democracy and rule of law
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    ratified not only by his election
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    but by his willingness to step down from power
    after only one term
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    Given the sweep of his life
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    the scope of his accomplishments
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    the adoration that he so rightly earned
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    it's tempting -- I think --
    to remember Nelson Mandela as an icon
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    smilling and serene
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    detached from the tawdry affairs of lesser men
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    but Madiba himself strongly resisted
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    such a lifeless portrait
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    [cheers]
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    Instead,
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    Madiba insisted on sharing with us
    his doubts and his fears
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    his miscalculations along with his victories
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    "I am not a saint", he said
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    "unless you think of a saint
    as a sinner who keeps on trying."
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    It was precisely
    because he could admit to imperfection
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    because he could be so full of good humour
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    even mischief,
    despite the heavy burdens that he carried
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    that we loved him so.
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    He was not a bust made of marble,
    he was a man of flesh and blood
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    a son and a husband
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    a father and a friend
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    and that's why we learned so much from him
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    and that's why we can learn from him still
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    For nothing he achieved was inevitable
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    in the arch of his life we see a man
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    who earned his place in history through struggle
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    and shrewdness and persistance and faith
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    he tells us what is possible
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    not just in the pages of history books
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    but in our own lives as well.
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    Mandela showed us the power of action
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    of taking risks on behalf of our ideas
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    Perhaps Mandela was right
    that he "inherited a proud rebelliousness
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    a stubborn sense of fairness" from his father
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    and we know he shared
    with millions of black and coloured Southafricans
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    "the anger born of a thousand slights
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    a thousand indignities
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    a thousand unremembered moments
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    a desire to fight the system that imprisoned
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    my people", he said
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    But like other early giants of the ANC
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    the Zulus and the Tambos,
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    [cheers]
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    Madiba disciplined his anger
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    and channelled his desire to fight into organization
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    and platforms and strategies for action
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    so men and women could stand up
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    for the God given dignity
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    Moreover, he accepted the consequences
    of his actions
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    knowing that standing up
    to powerful interests and injustice carries a price
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    "I've fought against white domination
    I've fought against black domination."
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    [cheers]
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    "I've cherished the ideal of a democratic
    and free society
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    in which all persons live together in harmony
    and equal opportunities
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    it is an ideal which I hope to live for and to achieve
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    but if needs be it's an ideal
    for which I am prepared to die."
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    [cheers]
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    Mandela taught us the power of action
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    but he also taught us the power of ideas
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    the importance of reason and arguments
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    the need to study not only those who you agree with
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    but also those you don't agree with.
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    He understood that ideas cannot be contained by prison walls
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    or extinguished by a sniper's bullet
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    He turned his trial into an indictment of apartheid
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    because of his eloquence and his passion
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    but also because of his training as an advocate
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    He used decades of prison to sharpen his arguments
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    but also to spread his thirst for knowledge
    to others in the movement
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    and he learned the language
    and the customs of his oppresors
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    so that one day he might better convey to them
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    how their own freedom depend upon his.
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    [cheers]
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    Mandela has demonstrated
    that action and ideas are not enough
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    no matter how right
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    they must also be ciselled in the laws and institutions
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    He was practical, testing his beliefs
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    against the hard surface of circumstance and history
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    On core principles he was unyielding
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    which is why he could rebuff offers
    of unconditional release
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    reminding the aparthaid regime
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    that "prisoners cannot enter into contracts."
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    But as he showed in painstaking negotiations
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    to transfer power and draft new laws
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    He was not afraid to compromise for the sake of a larger goal
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    And because he was not only a leader of a movement
    but a skilful politician
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    the constitution that emerged was worthy
    of this multi-racial democracy
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    true to his vision of laws to protect minority
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    as well as majority rights
    and the precious freedom of every Southafrican
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    And finally Mandela uderstood
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    the ties that bind the human spirit.
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    There is a word in Southafrican
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    Ubuntu
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    [cheers]
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    A word that captures Mandela's greatest gift:
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    his recognition that we are all bound together in ways
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    that are invisible to the eye
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    that there is a oneness to humanity
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    that we achieve ourselves
    by sharing ourselves with others
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    and caring for those around us
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    We can never know
    how much of this sense was innate in him
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    or how much was shaped in a dark and solitary cell.
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    But we remember the gestures -- large and small --
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    introducing his jailers as honored guests
    at an inauguration;
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    taking a pitch in a springbok uniform;
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    turning his family's heartbreak into a call
    to confront HIV-AIDS
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    that reveal the depths of his empathy
    and his understanding
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    He not only embodied ubuntu he taught millions
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    to find that truth within themselves.
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    It took a man like Madiba to free
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    not just the prisoner but the jailer as well
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    [cheers]
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    to show that you must trust
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    others so that they may trust you
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    to teach that reconciliation is not a matter
    of ignoring a cruel past
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    but a means of confronting it
    with inclusion and generosity and truth
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    He changed laws
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    but he also changed hearts
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    For the people of South Africa
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    for those he inspired around the globe
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    Madiba's passing is rightly a time of mourning
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    and a time to celebrate a heroic life
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    But I believe it should also prompt in each of us
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    a time for self-reflection with honesty
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    regardless of our station or circumstance
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    we must ask: "How well have I applied
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    his lessons in my own life?"
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    It's a question I ask myself
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    as a man and as a president
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    We know that white South Africa
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    the United States had overcome
    centuries of racial subjugation
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    As was true here, it took sacrifice
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    the sacrifices of countless people
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    -- known and unknown --
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    to see the dawn of a new day
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    Michelle and I are beneficiaries of that struggle
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    [cheers]
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    But in America and in South Africa
    and in countries all around the globe
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    we cannot allow our progress to cloud the fact
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    that our work is not yet done
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    The struggles that follow
    the victory of formal equality
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    or universal franchise
    may not be as filled with drama and moral clarity
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    as those that came before
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    but they are not less important
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    For around the world today
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    we still see children
    suffering from hunger and disease
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    we still see run down schools
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    we still see young people
    without prospects for the future.
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    Around the world today
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    men and women are still imprisoned
    for their political beliefs
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    and are still persecuted for what they look like
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    and how they worship, and who they love
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    and that is happening today
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    [cheers]
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    And so we, too, must act on behalf of justice
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    We, too, must act on behalf of peace
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    There are too many people who happily embrace
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    Madiba's legacy of racial reconciliation
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    but passionately resist even modest reforms.
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    that would challange chronic property
    and growing inequality
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    There are too many leaders who claim solidarity
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    with Madiba's struggle for freedom
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    but do not tolerate the same for their own people
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    [cheers]
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    And there are too many of us
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    too many of us on the side lines
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    comfortable in complacency or cynicism
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    when our voices must be heard
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    The questions we face today
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    how to promote equality and justice;
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    how to uphold freedom and human rights;
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    how to end a conflict and sectarian war
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    these things do not have easy answers
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    But there were no easy answers
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    in front of that child born in World War I
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    Nelson Mandela reminds us that
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    it always seems impossible until it is done
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    South Africa shows that it is true
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    South Africa shows we can change
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    that we can choose a world
    defined not by our differences
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    but by our common hopes
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    we can choose a world defined not by conflict
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    but by peace and justice and opportunity
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    [cheers]
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    We will never see
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    the likes of Nelson Mandela again
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    But let me say that the young people of Africa
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    and the young people around the world
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    you, too, can make his life's work your own
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    Over thirty years ago, while still a student
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    I learned of Nelson Mandela
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    and the struggles taking place in this beautiful land
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    and it stirred something in me
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    it woke me up to my responsibilities
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    -- to others and to myself --
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    and set me on an improbable journey
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    that finds me here today
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    and while I will always fall short of Madiba's example
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    he makes me want to be a better man
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    [cheers]
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    He speaks
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    to what is best inside us
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    After this great liberator is laid to rest
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    and when we return to our cities and villages
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    and rejoined our daily routines
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    let us search for his strength
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    let us search for his largeness of spirit
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    somewhere inside of ourselves
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    and when the night grows dark
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    when injustice weights heavy on our hearts
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    when our best laid plans seem beyond our reach
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    let us think of Madiba
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    and the words that brought him comfort
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    within the 4 walls of his cell:
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    "It matters not how streight the gate,
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    how charged the punishment the scroll
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    I am the master of my fate,
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    I am the captain of my soul."
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    What a magnificent soul it was
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    We will miss him deeply
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    May God bless the memory of Nelson Mandela.
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    May God bless the people of South Africa
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    [cheers]
Títol:
President Obama Speaks at a Memorial Service for Nelson Mandela
Descripció:

President Obama delivers remarks at a national memorial service for former South African President Nelson Mandela. December 10, 2013.

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Video Language:
English
Team:
Volunteer
Duration:
19:15
  • There are a lot of mistakes and ommisions in the original transcrip, for example:

    "during world war one fired from court orders of power" :-)

    should be:

    "Born during World War I, far from the corridors of power"

    I hope it hasn't been translated to other languages from this version of original transcript.

    Please, take a look at this transcript:

    http://edition.cnn.com/2013/12/10/politics/mandela-obama-remarks/

    The speech can't be translated to other languages, unless it is revised and corrected.

    Regards,
    Darek

English subtitles

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