Nelson Mandela’s Memorial Day

Nelson Mandela’s Memorial Day 

At the FNB Stadium in Soweto, near Johannesburg, South Africa, 

On Tuesday, December 10, 2013

 World leaders, celebrities and citizens from all walks of life gathered on Tuesday, December 10, 2013 to pay respects during a memorial service for the former South Africa President Nelson Mandela.

Walk With Nelson Mandela

We come and go

To somewhere no one knows

Left on earth is what we did

When we were still alive


Nelson Mandela has gone

And billions mourn

Wishing he would live forever


Hitler has gone

No one mourns

Wishing he had gone sooner

Or was never born


What will people think when

Bashar Hafez al-Assad of Syria

Robert Mugabe of Zimbavwe

And others who want to keep

The power over people forever

 have gone 


What will people say? 


Ten, fifty, or a hundred years is only a drop

Of human civilization

We will be gone sooner or later

For we do not live forever


What are you doing Bashar Hafez al-Assad?

Killing kids, women and men

They are your people

They are Syrians

Please, I beg you not to create

A Twenty First Century Holocaust 


Robert Mugabe

You are eighty nine years old

You still want to be president

What are you thinking?

That you will live forever?


Oh, yes both of you will live

Thousands years or longer in history 


Will both of you and others hungry for power

Be good examples for future generations?

Or will future generations learn from Nelson Mandela 


You who are alive

Please think harder

About what you are doing


Be part of those that keep peace

Just like the way Mandela prevented civil war

Between black and white in his country


Please make the world better

For the next generation


If only one day you think of Mandela

Make him proud to be part of the same human race as you


Please hear this from

Nelson Mandel’s inauguration speech


“Time for the healing of the wounds has come.

The moment to bridge the chasms

That divide us has come.

The time to build is upon us. —– 

We understand it still that

There is no easy road to freedom.

We know it well that

None of us is acting alone can achieve success.

We must therefore act together as a united people,

For national reconciliation,

For nation building,

For the birth of a new world. 

Let there be justice for all. 

Let there be peace for all. 

Let there be work, bread, water and salt for all. 

Let each know that for each the body, 

The mind and the soul have been freed to fulfill themselves. 

 Never, never and never again shall it be that this

Beautiful land will again experience the oppression

Of one by another and suffer the indignity

Of being the skunk of the world.” 


 Ing-On Vibulbhan-Watts, Sunday, December 22, 2013, 12:17 am

The mourners all over the world and South Africans at FNB Stadium in Soweto, near Johannesburg, South Africa on Tuesday, December 10, 2013 for the memorial service.

 Members of Nelson Mandela’s family

 Nelson Mandela’s daughters Zindzi, Zenani and Makaziwe, ex-wife Winnie Mandela Madikizela and his widow Graca Machel in the stadium

Members of Nelson Mandela’s family and grandchildren

VIPs and dignitaries watch from the tribute as rain lashes down during the memorial service.

World leaders and mourners gather to say final goodbye, mourners and 91 world leaders gather in South Africa to unite in tribute to a man who became a global symbol of reconciliation.


Top right-Former U.S. President Bill Clinton and his wife Former U.S. Secretary of state Hillary Rodham Clinton with their daughter Chelsea (third right) and aids Muma Abedin (front) 

Bottom-President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama are escorted upon their arrival on Air Force One to attend a memorial service, greeting by International Relations Minister Maite Nkoane Mashabane (center)  Photograph by: Kevin Lamarque 

President Barack Obama is due to speak later during the memorial. The comparisons are perhaps inevitable. Obama and Mandela each served as their nation’s first black president, living symbols of struggles to overcome deep-seated racial tensions. Each was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. 

Top left-Pakistan’s President Mamnoon Hussain (center) arrive at the ceremony. 

Top right-Kenya’s President Uhuru Kenyatta (left) arrived in South Africaon Monday night. And Malawi’s President Joyce Banda (right) arrive at arrive at Air Force Base Waterkloof,Pretoria. 

Bottom left-Uganda’s President Yowerl Museveni (left) arrive at arrive at Air Force Base Waterkloof,Pretoria. Guinea’s President Teodoro Oblang Nguema (right) arrived in South Africaon Monday night. 

Bottom center-Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe And his wife Grace Mugabe (center) arrive in Pretoria ahead of the memorial. 

Bottom right-Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe and his wife Grace Mugabe     arrives at the ceremony.

Top left-Nelson Mandela’s ex-wife Winnie Mandela Madikizela (center) arrives at the ceremony. 

Top center-Military officers carry the coffin of former South Africa President Nelson Mandela to the Union Building for the lying in state in Pretoria. (Markus Schreiber, AFP) 

Top right-Mandla Mandela, the grandson of Nelson Mandela on stage during for the memorial service 

Bottom left-President Barack Obama talks to Nelson Mandela’s widow Graca Machel.

Bottom center- Former South Africa president F.W. de Klerk arrives with his wife Elita.

Bottom right-Former South Africa President Thabo Mbeki and his wife Zanele

Top left-Former British Prime Minister John Major shakes hands with Former U.S. George W. Bush as they arrive for the memorial service. 

Top right-Italian Prime Minister Enrico Letta (above left), French Former President Nicolas Sarkozy (below left) and his successor President Francois Hollande (below right). 

Bottom left-President Barack Obama greets the crowd before giving his speech at the memorial service. 

Bottom center- U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon (left) next to President Barack Obama, who was greeted with prolonged applause, embraces South African president Jacob Zuma, who was loudly booed. 

Bottom right-Cuban President Raul Castro Ruz arrived at the ceremony.

Top left-Former South Africa President Thabo Mbeki is welcomed as he arrives at FNB Stadium.

Top right-Charlize Theron, the South African actress speaks with musician Bono. 

Bottom left-President Barack Obama shakes hands with Cuban leader Raul Castro in spite of animosity between theirs governments. 

Bottom right-Putin, who will not be attending, paid tribute to the late former South Africa President Nelson Mandela as he visited South Africa’s embassy in Moscow.

Top left-Twitter: Aislinn Laing – Former Springbok rugby captain Pienaar says with a watery smile that he’ll be today of thinking about Mandela’s “selflessness”.

Top center-President Barack Obama deliveries a eulogy at the memorial service for former South Africa President Nelson Mandela. 

Top right-Former U.S.George W. Bush talks to Irish rock star Bono. 

Bottom left-Nelson Mandela’s former assistant, Zelda le Grange together with Bono and his wife, Alison Hewson leave after seeing the coffin of Nelson Mandela lying in state. 

Bottom center-Nelson Mandela’s widow Graca Machel bids farewell to Nelson Mandela lying in state at the Union Buildings in Pretoria.

Top left-Nelson Mandela’s ex-wife Winnie Mandela Madikizela 

Top right- Nelson Mandela’s Widow Graca Machel 

Bottom left-Retired Anglican Archbishop Desmond Tutu arrives with Former U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan for the memorial service. 

Bottom center-South Africa’s last apartheid-era president, F.W. de Klerk, stand in-between President Barack Obama and Bishop Ivan Abrahms as they shake hand during the memorial service. 

Bottom right-French President Francois Hollande (left) is greeting by officials on his arrival at Air Force Base Waterkloof, Pretoria.

Top left-Former Bishop Desmond Tutu (right) and former Irish President Mary Robinson (left)

Top right-UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon takes the podium, raises his hand and waves to cheers from the audience.

“South Africahas lost a hero, a father. The world has lost a beloved friend and mentor. Mandela was more than one of the greatest leaders of all time.”

“This boxer fought throughout his life for each of us. It is the duty of all of us who loved him to keep his memory alive.”

Bottom right-Former Prime minister of Britain Tony Blair is greeted after arriving for the Memorial service.    

Top left-Nelson Mandela’s ex-wife Winnie Mandela Madikizela 

Top center- U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, deliveries speech at the memorial service

Top right-Brazil’s President Dilma Rousseff

Bottom left-Former Prime minister of Britain Tony Blair

Bottom right-Former Prime minister of Britain John Major

Top right- President Barack Obama speaks of how he was inspired by Nelson Mandela’s    political mission when he began his own career. 

Bottom left-Cuban President Raul Castro Ruz deliveries his tribute speech 

Bottom right-South Africa President, Jacob Zuma embraces Former Bishop Desmond Tutu.

Top left- President Obama, British Prime Minister David Cameron, and Danish Prime Minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt smiling for a selfie at Nelson Mandela’s memorial service 

Top right-Former British Prime Minister Gordon Brown (center) and Former U.S. President George W. Bush (right) 

Bottom left-President Barack obama, who will deliver a eulogy at the memorial service and First lady Michelle. 

Bottom right-Chelsea Clinton, Former U.S. Secretary of state Hillary Rodham Clinton, Former U.S. President Bill Clinton, Laura Bush and Former U.S. President George W. Bush listen to speakers during the memorial service.

 Top right- Nelson Mandela’s ex-wife Winnie Mandela Madikizela (left) and  South Africa President, Jacob Zuma (right) 

Top center- President Obama a eulogy at the memorial service for former South Africa President Nelson Mandela. 

Bottom left-South Africa President, Jacob Zuma was loudly booed by the crowd when he got up to deliver his tribute to late former president Nelson Mandela. 

Bottom center- Former Bishop Desmond Tutu

 Bottom center-Prime minister of Australia Tony Abbott, Prime minister of New Zealand John Key and Prime minister of Britain David Cameron at the memorial service. 

Top left-At 12.00 President Barack Obama’s  moving speech:

South Africa we can change that we can choose a world defined by our common hopes…….We will never see the likes of Nelson Mandela again..let me say to young people of Africa. you too can make his life your own. Over 30 years ago as a student I learned about Nelson Mandela..and the struggles in your land, it set me on an improbable journey that finds me here today, altho I will fall short of Madiba’s example, he makes me want to be a better man.

“After this great liberator is laid to rest and we return our daily routines let us search for his strength, his largeness of spirit ..let us think of Madiba..and the words that brought him comfort in his cell. It matters not how staright the game …I am the the master of my fate I am the captain of my soul…. what a magnificent soul it was.”

Bottom center-South Africa’s last apartheid-era President, F.W. de Klerk  

Thanks to F.W. de Klerk, and other white South Africans who supported the policy of  give and take in order for South Africa to have a more equal and peaceful society.  This policy allowed for an election through one person one vote; hence Nelson Mandela achieved his political goal and became the first black South Africa president. 

I hope that the present leaders of government in South Africa will continue Nelson Mandela’s legacy by preserving peace through this approach to governing the country.  I am glad that South Africa people as a whole have shown the world there is a way to make a transition from colonial white minority rule to a democratic society with fairness for all citizens. 

At present many African countries are troubled by corruption by their leadership, and do not compromise to govern their country in a peaceful way.  After taking over from the white colonial rule, many leaders seized the opportunity take much of the wealth of the country for themselves, leaving the majority of citizens to remain poor or even starve.  

These behaviors cause rivals wanting to take over power and wealth from the governing rulers. There are many poor young men and women willing to go along with whichever side gives them food and weapons. South Sudanis the most current example of this.  It becomes a situation of kill or be killed.  So they kill each other in large numbers and it is the poor majority that suffers the most.  Mugabi of Zimbabwe killed thousands of his rivals according to a Wikipedia article, in order to keep him and his government in power, acquiring wealth for themselves for thirty years.  Syrian leaders have been doing the same for even longer, which has brought about the continuing Syrian Civil War. 

South Africa is a good example of how to prevent civil war between white and black but there too the majority black are poor and uneducated.  According to the news, white minority, about 9% still own most of productive land and wealth in the country.  When people are poor, uneducated or educated, they are going to find a way to survive, trying to get job if there is a job.  But if there are none, and no money to survive, people will resort to any means necessary to help themselves and families from starving.  There are even some will decide to end their own lives rather than go on in absolute misery. 

In South Africa it is difficult but important that the government, wealthy whites and also the growing numbers of wealthy blacks come together to help their poor and uneducated citizens.  

For as Nelson Mandela said in his inauguration speech 

“—Let there be justice for all.  

     Let there be peace for all. 

     Let there be work, bread, water and salt for all.  Let each know that for each

    the body, the mind and the soul have been freed to fulfill themselves. –“.  

Kindness and feeling the suffering of others as one’s own suffering will bring an understanding that distribution of wealth to the poor is the humane thing to do.  There will be no peace in life if there is a wall to guard and protect the wealth of the few while and the majority poor black and some minority poor white are left to suffer. 

If the South African government, wealthy whites, wealthy blacks, and all citizens can achieve peace in their country it will be an example for Africa and the world.  Through peace and harmony, South Africans can make a great leap forward for all humanity to become more civilized and peaceful. 

Ing-On Vibulbhan-Watts, Tuesday, December 24, 2013, 9:20 pm 


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