“One year ago the world lost a leader whose struggle and sacrifices inspired us to stand up for our fundamental principles, whose example reminded us of the enduring need for compassion, understanding, and reconciliation, and whose vision saw the promise of a better world,” Obama said in a statement.
“As we pause today to remember the legacy of Madiba, I hope we can all take a moment to reflect on how Mandela’s life has inspired our own, and will impact the paths of generations to come — including the next generation of world leaders, as while Mandela left behind a world more just and free, there is much more work to be done,” the US leader said.
“On this day, and on every day, we honor his spirit and his memory.”
Mandela’s death on December 5, 2013 at the age of 95 was met with a worldwide outpouring of grief.
The former freedom fighter set South Africa on a course towards reconciliation after emerging unbowed from nearly three decades in prison in 1990, becoming the country’s first president to be elected by universal suffrage in 1994.