Exactly 20 years ago today, former South African prisoner Nelson Mandela and former apartheid president FW De Klerk were awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for successfully negotiating the end of South African apartheid.
Twenty years later, President Obama, first lady Michelle Obama and more than 100 leaders from the United States and around the world joined South Africans to memorialize the life of the revolutionary-turned-president, Nelson Mandela.
Obama was joined by former presidents George W. Bush, Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter and Hillary Rodham Clinton as the American president held FNB Stadium spellbound before thousands of jubilant Mandela admirers in Soweto — the very Johannesburg township where Mandela and the anti-apartheid leaders staged their historic resistance.
On the other side of the Atlantic, the sentiments were summarized succinctly by one social media observer:
“@lpolgreen: America’s first black president speaking at a memorial for South Africa’s first black president. History.”
— Ela. (@Pamio_) December 10, 2013
Take a look at some of the photographic highlights from the Mandela memorial in South Africa.