One of the most enduring symbols of equal rights and freedom had these words for Obama today…
In a letter delivered to Obama before the ceremony, the former South African president described the election of America’s first black president as “something truly historic not only in the political annals of your great nation, the United States of America, but of the world”.
“We are in some ways reminded today of the excitement and enthusiasm in our own country at the time of our transition to democracy,” Mandela said in the letter.
“People, not only in our country but around the world, were inspired to believe that through common human effort injustice can be overcome and that together a better life for all can be achieved.”
Mandela told Obama he represents a “new voice of hope” in a world still beset by inequality and division.
“Your election to this high office has inspired people as few other events in recent times have done. Amidst all of the human progress made over the last century the world in which we live remains one of great divisions, conflict, inequality, poverty and injustice,” said Mandela.
“You, Mister President, have brought a new voice of hope that these problems can be addressed and that we can in fact change the world and make of it a better place.”