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World Leaders Extol Mandela Before a Crowd of Thousands

SOWETO, South Africa — In an outpouring of praise, remembrance and celebration, scores of leaders from around the world, including President Obama, joined tens of thousands of South Africans in a vast rain-swept soccer stadium here on Tuesday to pay common tribute to Nelson Mandela, whose struggle against apartheid inspired his own country and many far beyond its borders.

Huge cheers greeted Mr. Obama as he rose to offer a eulogy that blended a deep personal message with a broader appeal for Mr. Mandela’s values to survive him. South Africans, swathed in their national colors, some wearing wraparounds bearing Mr. Mandela’s portrait, celebrated their former president both as an inspiration and as an inherited memory for younger people raised in the post-apartheid era.

“To the people of South Africa — people of every race and every walk of life — the world thanks you for sharing Nelson Mandela with us,” President Obama said. “His struggle was your struggle. His triumph was your triumph. Your dignity and hope found expression in his life, and your freedom, your democracy is his cherished legacy.”...

Read entire article at New York Times