NBC News   |  December 10, 2013

Obama: Madiba earned place in history through struggle

At the memorial ceremony for Nelson Mandela in South Africa, President Obama notes how the former president and anti-apartheid champion showed the world the power of taking action.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

in the arc of his life, we see a man who earned his place in history through struggle and shrewdness and persistence and faith. he tells us what is possible not just in the pages of history books but in our own lives as well. mandela showed us the power of action, of taking risk on behalf of our ideals. perhaps mandela was right when he inherited a proud rebelliousness, a stubborn sense of fairness from his father. and we know he shared withal maniy born of a thousand slights, a thousand indignities, a thousand unremembered moments, a desire to fight the system that imprisoned my people, he said. but like other early giants of the anc, madiba disciplined his anger and channeled his desire to fight in no organizations and platforms and strategies for action so men and women could stand up for their god-given dignity. moreover, he accepted the consequences of his actions, knowing that standing up to powerful interests and injustice carries a price. i have fought against white domination, and i have fought against black domination. i've cherished the ideal of a democratic and free society in which all persons live together in harmony and equal opportunities. it is an ideal which i hope to live for and to achieve. but if needs be, it is an ideal for which i am prepared to die.