The legendary, inspirational leader of South Africa was put to rest in his childhood village on Dec. 15, after an emotional memorial that was attended by world leaders and important celebrities like Bill Clinton, Oprah Winfrey, and many more.
Nelson Mandela‘s 95-year-long life officially came full-circle on Dec. 15, as his body was laid to rest in Qunu, the remote village where he was raised in South Africa, after a touching, four-hour funeral service.
Nelson Mandela’s Funeral
South African military troops lined the funeral route up to Mandela’s private burial place on his family’s estate — Mandela’s casket, which was covered by the nation’s flag, was transported on a decorated carriage.
As Mandela was lowered into the grave, a fly-past accompanied a 21-gun salute, and a lone trumpet played the “Last Post.” The military chaplain presiding over the ceremony then somberly stated, “Yours was truly a long walk to freedom, and now you have achieved the ultimate freedom, in the bosom of your maker.”
There were around 5,000 guests at the funeral, and some attendees included Prince Charles, Bill Clinton, Oprah Winfrey, and the civil rights leader Jesse Jackson. South Africa’s current leader, Jacob Zuma, once again gave a heartfelt, emotion eulogy, as he did at Mandela’s memorial on Dec. 10.
Nelson Mandela Honored At Touching Memorial
Since Mandela passed away on Dec. 5 after a long battle with illness, there has been a non-stop show of support and mourning for the inspirational, anti-apartheid leader.
No display of love and emotion — until the funeral today — was stronger than during the Dec. 10 memorial. With over 100,000 people and 59 heads of state on hand, the celebration of Mandela’s life was downright breathtaking. “What a magnificent soul it was,” President Barack Obama eulogized. “We will miss him deeply.”
Fortunately, we will always be able to remember Mandela — the changes he helped bring on and the inspiration he continues to perpetuate are evident every day.
Rest in peace, Nelson Mandela.
— Andrew Gruttadaro