Rise and Shine: Tribute To Nelson Mandela


President Barack Obama addresses the crowd during a memorial service for Nelson Mandela at FNB Stadium in Johannesburg, South Africa




Remembering Nelson Mandela

To Graça Machel and the Mandela family; to President Zuma and members of the government; to heads of state and government, past and present; distinguished guests – it is a singular honor to be with you today, to celebrate a life unlike any other.  To the people of South Africa – people of every race and walk of life – the world thanks you for sharing Nelson Mandela with us.  His struggle was your struggle.  His triumph was your triumph.  Your dignity and hope found expression in his life, and your freedom, your democracy is his cherished legacy.


It is hard to eulogize any man – to capture in words not just the facts and the dates that make a life, but the essential truth of a person – their private joys and sorrows; the quiet moments and unique qualities that illuminate someone’s soul.  How much harder to do so for a giant of history, who moved a nation toward justice, and in the process moved billions around the world. Born during World War I, far from the corridors of power, a boy raised herding cattle and tutored by elders of his Thembu tribe – Madiba would emerge as the last great liberator of the 20th century.  Like Gandhi, he would lead a resistance movement – a movement that at its start held little prospect of success.  Like King, he would give potent voice to the claims of the oppressed, and the moral necessity of racial justice.  He would endure a brutal imprisonment that began in the time of Kennedy and Khrushchev, and reached the final days of the Cold War.  Emerging from prison, without force of arms, he would – like Lincoln – hold his country together when it threatened to break apart.  Like America’s founding fathers, he would erect a constitutional order to preserve freedom for future generations – a commitment to democracy and rule of law ratified not only by his election, but by his willingness to step down from power.


Given the sweep of his life, and the adoration that he so rightly earned, it is tempting then to remember Nelson Mandela as an icon, smiling and serene, detached from the tawdry affairs of lesser men.  But Madiba himself strongly resisted such a lifeless portrait. Instead, he insisted on sharing with us his doubts and fears; his miscalculations along with his victories.  “I’m not a saint,” he said, “unless you think of a saint as a sinner who keeps on trying.”


It was precisely because he could admit to imperfection – because he could be so full of good humor, even mischief, despite the heavy burdens he carried – that we loved him so.  He was not a bust made of marble; he was a man of flesh and blood – a son and husband, a father and a friend.  That is why we learned so much from him; that is why we can learn from him still.  For nothing he achieved was inevitable.  In the arc of his life, we see a man who earned his place in history through struggle and shrewdness; persistence and faith.  He tells us what’s possible not just in the pages of dusty history books, but in our own lives as well.


Mandela showed us the power of action; of taking risks on behalf of our ideals.  Perhaps Madiba was right that he inherited, “a proud rebelliousness, a stubborn sense of fairness” from his father. Certainly he shared with millions of black and colored South Africans the anger born of, “a thousand slights, a thousand indignities, a thousand unremembered moments…a desire to fight the system that imprisoned my people.”


But like other early giants of the ANC – the Sisulus and Tambos – Madiba disciplined his anger; and channeled his desire to fight into organization, and platforms, and strategies for action, so men and women could stand-up for their 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,” he said at his 1964 trial.  “I’ve cherished the ideal of a democratic and free society in which all persons live together in harmony and with 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.”


Mandela taught us the power of action, but also ideas; the importance of reason and arguments; the need to study not only those you agree with, but those who you don’t.  He understood that ideas cannot be contained by prison walls, or extinguished by a sniper’s bullet.  He turned his trial into an indictment of apartheid because of his eloquence and passion, but also his training as an advocate. He used decades in prison to sharpen his arguments, but also to spread his thirst for knowledge to others in the movement.  And he learned the language and customs of his oppressor so that one day he might better convey to them how their own freedom depended upon his.


Mandela demonstrated that action and ideas are not enough; no matter how right, they must be chiseled into laws and institutions.  He was practical, testing his beliefs against the hard surface of circumstance and history.  On core principles he was unyielding, which is why he could rebuff offers of conditional release, reminding the Apartheid regime that, “prisoners cannot enter into contracts.”  But as he showed in painstaking negotiations to transfer power and draft new laws, he was not afraid to compromise for the sake of a larger goal.  And because he was not only a leader of a movement, but a skillful politician, the Constitution that emerged was worthy of this multiracial democracy; true to his vision of laws that protect minority as well as majority rights, and the precious freedoms of every South African.


Finally, Mandela understood the ties that bind the human spirit.  There is a word in South Africa- Ubuntu – that describes his greatest gift: his recognition that we are all bound together in ways that can be invisible to the eye; that there is a oneness to humanity; that we achieve ourselves by sharing ourselves with others, and caring for those around us.  We can never know how much of this was innate in him, or how much of was shaped and burnished in a dark, solitary cell.  But we remember the gestures, large and small – introducing his jailors as honored guests at his inauguration; taking the pitch in a Springbok uniform; turning his family’s heartbreak into a call to confront HIV/AIDS – that revealed the depth of his empathy and understanding.  He not only embodied Ubuntu; he taught millions to find that truth within themselves.  It took a man like Madiba to free not just the prisoner, but the jailor as well; to show that you must trust others so that they may trust you; to teach that reconciliation is not a matter of ignoring a cruel past, but a means of confronting it with inclusion, generosity and truth. He changed laws, but also hearts.


For the people of South Africa, for those he inspired around the globe – Madiba’s passing is rightly a time of mourning, and a time to celebrate his heroic life.  But I believe it should also prompt in each of us a time for self-reflection. With honesty, regardless of our station or circumstance, we must ask:  how well have I applied his lessons in my own life?


It is a question I ask myself – as a man and as a President.  We know that like South Africa, the United States had to overcome centuries of racial subjugation.  As was true here, it took the sacrifice of countless people – known and unknown – to see the dawn of a new day.  Michelle and I are the beneficiaries of that struggle.  But in America and South Africa, and countries around the globe, we cannot allow our progress to cloud the fact that our work is not done.  The struggles that follow the victory of formal equality and universal franchise may not be as filled with drama and moral clarity as those that came before, but they are no less important.  For around the world today, we still see children suffering from hunger, and disease; run-down schools, and few prospects for the future.  Around the world today, men and women are still imprisoned for their political beliefs; and are still persecuted for what they look like, or how they worship, or who they love.


We, too, must act on behalf of justice.  We, too, must act on behalf of peace.  There are too many of us who happily embrace Madiba’s legacy of racial reconciliation, but passionately resist even modest reforms that would challenge chronic poverty and growing inequality.  There are too many leaders who claim solidarity with Madiba’s struggle for freedom, but do not tolerate dissent from their own people.  And there are too many of us who stand on the sidelines, comfortable in complacency or cynicism when our voices must be heard.


The questions we face today – how to promote equality and justice; to uphold freedom and human rights; to end conflict and sectarian war – do not have easy answers.  But there were no easy answers in front of that child in Qunu.  Nelson Mandela reminds us that it always seems impossible until it is done.  South Africa shows us that is true.  South Africa shows us we can change.  We can choose to live in a world defined not by our differences, but by our common hopes.  We can choose a world defined not by conflict, but by peace and justice and opportunity.


We will never see the likes of Nelson Mandela again.  But let me say to the young people of Africa, and young people around the world – you can make his life’s work your own.  Over thirty years ago, while still a student, I learned of Mandela and the struggles in this land.  It stirred something in me.  It woke me up to my responsibilities – to others, and to myself – and set me on an improbable journey that finds me here today.  And while I will always fall short of Madiba’s example, he makes me want to be better.  He speaks to what is best inside us.  After this great liberator is laid to rest; when we have returned to our cities and villages, and rejoined our daily routines, let us search then for his strength – for his largeness of spirit – somewhere inside ourselves.  And when the night grows dark, when injustice weighs heavy on our hearts, or our best laid plans seem beyond our reach – think of Madiba, and the words that brought him comfort within the four walls of a cell:


It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul.

What a great soul it was.  We will miss him deeply.  May God bless the memory of Nelson Mandela.  May God bless the people of South Africa.




President Barack Obama shakes hands with Cuban President Raul Castro



President Barack Obama pays his respect to late South African President Nelson Mandela’s widow Graca Machel





President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama arrive at Waterkloof Air Base for a memorial service in honor of former South African leader Nelson Mandela



President Barack Obama and Brazilian president Dilma Roussef





President Barack Obama waves to the crowd from the stands as he arrives for the memorial service for former South African President Nelson Mandela


President Barack Obama embraces former South African President Nelson Mandela’s widow Graca Machel




172 Responses to “Rise and Shine: Tribute To Nelson Mandela”

  1. 1 MightyPamela
    December 10, 2013 at 10:02 am

    Amen And Amen!

  2. 17 Allison
    December 10, 2013 at 10:03 am

    Excellent R&S UT. Thanks much!

  3. 20 MightyPamela
    December 10, 2013 at 10:05 am

    A mighty Rise and Shine, UTAL! The photos alone call for another pot of tea!

  4. December 10, 2013 at 10:07 am

    Ooooooooooh wow UT, this is just spectacular – thank you so, so, so, so, so MUCH!!!

  5. 25 anniebella
    December 10, 2013 at 10:08 am

    I see Valerie Jarrett.

  6. December 10, 2013 at 10:11 am

    Checking in again – did the Mandela TV coverage ever show the U.S. Congressional delegation, including the illustrious senator from TX? If so, I must have missed it – but I only watched the proceedings for 3 hours…

  7. 30 Alycee (@jazziz2)
    December 10, 2013 at 10:12 am

    Okay, time for a nap. Will catch you later. Thanks for letting me share today’s journey with you.

  8. 31 Bill R.
    December 10, 2013 at 10:14 am

    Thank you, great coverage!

  9. 32 donna dem 4 obama
    December 10, 2013 at 10:15 am

  10. 33 Don
    December 10, 2013 at 10:17 am

    I love these pictures, they tell so much about the person.

  11. December 10, 2013 at 10:29 am

    I had my DVR running. Unfortunately, for not long enough so I didn’t hear the President live. Thank you so much for bringing his magnificent speech and all the events.

    I heard Bryant Williams say that it was a miserable day because of the rain, but I heard many African people say that rain is looked upon as a blessing. Someone should inform our media of the customs – likes and dislikes – of other people. He also said this was the most enthusiastic (or a word that implied same) that President has given in some time. Don’t these people ever listen to the President.

    This is a beautiful day and the jackals in our media cannot and will not spoil it.

  12. December 10, 2013 at 10:32 am

    What a great speech and tribute by the President. I always love how he builds into it, and then seems to “catch fire.” 😀 All I have to do now is get through the bloviating by the various media talking heads telling us what he “really meant.” 🙄

  13. 40 Nena20409
    December 10, 2013 at 10:43 am

    Wow……UT ❗

    What a sight of awesomeness.

    Lovely. Beyond words. Thanks a Bunch.

  14. 41 Vicki
    December 10, 2013 at 10:51 am

    Both George Bush and Bill Clinton have done good work in Africa since leaving office. Aids meds and prevention, vaccines, etc.
    It must have been a considerable shock to both of them that Bush was booed and Clinton ignored.

    There is a larger lesson here but I’m not sure just how to put it.
    Maybe, good works, Charity, are appreciated by folks in need but it doesn’t mean that they will like the people offering the charity.

    On the other hand, a Leader who is respectful and forms a human bond of equality and dignity for all will be loved and cheered. Nobody does this as well as President Obama.

    Let me add my praise to the blogmistresses Chips and UT. You two are amazing indefatigable pearls beyond price. Now, get some rest!

    • December 10, 2013 at 10:57 am

      “Let me add my praise to the blogmistresses Chips and UT. You two are amazing indefatigable pearls beyond price”



    • 44 utaustinliberal
      December 10, 2013 at 11:00 am

      Thanks, Vicki!

    • December 10, 2013 at 11:01 am

      Aaaaaaaaah Vicki, you are a pearl yourself!! You’re lovely, HUGE thank yous!

    • 46 Obama Grandmama
      December 10, 2013 at 3:08 pm

      There was a woman with Brian Williams that knew Nelson Mandella and coanchored the MSNBC broadcast with him, mainly I think she was being used to point out SA leaders and other African leaders with correct pronunciations. She said something that struck me at the time being so true of PBO besides Mandella. She said he looked you in the eye when speaking to you, not past you. I have met people that ask a question, but show no interest in the answer looking around not even listening to your answer. You can tell PBO is in the moment with everyone he meets.
      I only remember knowing one other person that I also idolized that had that personal interest in people. He was Bishop Michael Kenny, who was a Catholic leader in SW AK during the years I lived there. I cannot remember exactly what year he died, but know it was prior to 1998. My family lived in Juneau from 1991 till 2001. We got to know him through our varied involvements in the church. He was always involved with whatever activity he was present for. He camped out with the teens attending the Pope’s World Youth Gathering in Colorado instead of staying in the air conditioned hotel with the other leaders. He was very accomplished speaking several languages, running regularly even in the rain (in Juneau it rains all the time), singing at the top of a mountaintop, flying his own floatplane, attending all of the local performances, gourmet cooking for the lay marriage prep counselors every Valentines Day, and the list can go on and on. He was loved by all sectors in the area. His biggest talent was meeting people and remembering everyone he met. He met and shook hands with my Mother-in-law, and Sister-in-law outside the Cathedral after giving the mass once and two years later when seeing them again knew their names. He most reminds me of PBO.

    • 48 Cindy Sweatt
      December 10, 2013 at 9:30 pm

      I wasn’t able to watch live. Thanks for posting this most wonderful speech. I am kind of rude, but where is the part where Bush was booed?

  15. 49 globalcitizenlinda
    December 10, 2013 at 10:52 am

    well, after the overnighter with so many folks here, I have at least put in 2 hours’ nap – but much more to celebrate and memorize Pres. Mandela still so here we go!

  16. December 10, 2013 at 10:52 am

    What a beautiful celebration! The President’s speech brought tears to my eyes. His impassioned plea and call to arms to help the poor and disenfranchised was so inspiring.

  17. 57 vcprezofan2
    December 10, 2013 at 10:52 am

    🙄 So, **cough* cough** feeling a bit better I go downstairs to feed my body and there is my offspring who is home because it’s exam week. Wouldn’t you know the first thing he asked “Did you get called to work?” 🙄

    Ms Utal, that thread looked quite beautiful, and FULL, as I glided past. THANKS!

  18. 60 vcprezofan2
    December 10, 2013 at 10:54 am

    Well TODobots, as we are celebrating Pres. Mandela’s life, let’s also add our celebration of Pamela’s birthday – one cannot celebrate too much. Right?

    • December 10, 2013 at 10:55 am

      Aaaaw, beautiful VC!!!!! HAPPY BIRTHDAY MIGHTY P!!!!

      • 62 vcprezofan2
        December 10, 2013 at 10:57 am

        TY for trusting me with this piece of the organization, CC! You’ll be pleased to know that I didn’t try to emulate your talent for baking – I placed an order instead. 😉

      • 63 MightyPamela
        December 10, 2013 at 11:04 am

        Thanking you, Chipsticks, for all you do to make each of us feel special here at TOD! {{{{{Chipsticks}}}}}

        • December 10, 2013 at 11:49 am

          happy birthday to the…****Mighty Pamela***

        • 66 57andfemale
          December 10, 2013 at 12:05 pm

          happy, happy birthday, my lovely, wonderful friend, Mighty Pamela! Wish I could be there to give you a birthday hug.

          ‘Virtual’ will have to do, but it has all my love wrapped in it: {{{{{MightyPamela}}}}}

        • December 10, 2013 at 12:13 pm

          You are special, MP!! I hope you have a day planned full of joy and whatever your heart desires!! Be extremely kind and generous to yourself and CELEBRATE this fine day!!

          • 70 MightyPamela
            December 10, 2013 at 12:19 pm

            Thank you very much, meta, I have NO PLAN, which often can be the best plan! My phone is singing with texts, chatting away with several people at once (clever mp), and hoping my new upstairs neighbor finishes his/her cleaning binge quickly so I don’t have to hear the vacuum cleaner above my head any longer! It is one of the few drawbacks, I suppose, to community living, but it is drowning out the birthday songs!! Vacuuming does not last all day, but birthdays DO!! 😆

    • 71 MightyPamela
      December 10, 2013 at 11:02 am

      Oh, my goodness gracious me!! All this, VC, and you not feeling too well today? I am deeply honored and in Awe of such mastery! You must have stayed up all day and all night to finish this little beauty! I shall share with all who wish to partake of the joyfulness of this day! 🙂

    • 75 Alycee (@jazziz2)
      December 10, 2013 at 11:10 am

      MP, I add my wishes for you of love, peace and joy!

    • 77 57andfemale
      December 10, 2013 at 12:04 pm

      vc, so beautiful!!!!!

      On behalf of all of the TOD family, I’d like to express my gratitude for showing such love to someone as special as Mighty P!

    • 79 Dudette
      December 10, 2013 at 12:44 pm

      That’s so lovely VC! Happy Happy Birthday Mighty Pamela! Be well, be loved, be BAD (if you can)! 😉

  19. 82 Nena20409
    December 10, 2013 at 10:56 am

    No body does it better……a Song that is befitting for both UT and Chips, all the other bts and TODable Twitter Brigades.

    Fine Group Guys……Just Unbeatable.

  20. 84 utaustinliberal
    December 10, 2013 at 10:56 am

    This is sooooooooo cool!

  21. 95 globalcitizenlinda
    December 10, 2013 at 10:57 am

    I was so overwhelmed by the reception of PBO by the SA people,

    and then when he began his speech, I could not take away my eyes and ears from what PBO was saying and how he was saying it – I simply could not type (slacker);

    phones were on as we participated in funeral through multi-media but with different family and friends around the world – simply magnificent !

  22. 96 utaustinliberal
    December 10, 2013 at 10:58 am

    Heads up.

  23. 101 Nena20409
    December 10, 2013 at 11:05 am
  24. December 10, 2013 at 11:11 am

    Okay, Vet time for Danny – wish me and her luck 😕

    Thank you again UT, sooooooo much.

    Back in a bit.

  25. 109 mtmarilyn
    December 10, 2013 at 11:19 am

    What a wonderful R&S. Those words and pictures touch the soul. We are so blessed to live in his time.

    It is warming up today, currently 18 and snowing. This is the weather I love. The snow is falling so softly. Expecting about 1 foot today. Have a great day everyone.

  26. 113 dotster3
    December 10, 2013 at 11:19 am

    This is beyond the usual hateful rhetoric. This vile bigot needs to be run out of town—–forced to step down.

  27. 117 hopefruit2
    December 10, 2013 at 11:21 am

    Happy Birthday Mighty P!! 🙂 What a lovely cake vc baked for you there. Hope you enjoy it and have a blast for the rest of your day 🙂

    • 118 MightyPamela
      December 10, 2013 at 1:06 pm

      Thank you very much, HF! The cake is Mighty good, isn’t it, that clever VC, has gone and wore herself out before the party really starts! Maybe she will recover in time for afternoon tea!

  28. December 10, 2013 at 11:25 am

    Thank you UT for your great post. Thankful you included Pres. Obama’s speech. I tried staying up. Sitting up with iPad in lap I heard the beginning of Pres. Obama’s speech, but it remember nothing. It must have been the roar of the crowd that awakened me from my napping. Thanks again for keeping this great site moving.

  29. December 10, 2013 at 11:35 am

    Good Morning UT, Chipsticks, TODers…Everyone!

    UT, Bravo for this EXCELLENT Rise and Shine, and to you and Chipsticks for the FANTASTIC overnight coverage of the President’s travel and memorial events in South Africa. Once again, TOD outshines the US media when it comes to covering international events; especially events that include our President.

    Thanks again for providing the links, and information to us that allowed us to have a virtual presence during the memorial service, as well as the videos and pictures that allow us to revisit and reflect.

  30. 124 Alycee (@jazziz2)
    December 10, 2013 at 11:43 am

    Live statement from “The Elders”

  31. December 10, 2013 at 11:56 am

    Reblogged this on The Will to be True Blog and commented:
    The team at The Obama Diary has a wonderful way of presenting events without the commentary which makes the media coverage tiresome. I salute Chips and UT and Co for allowing us to enjoy these once in a lifetime events at our own pace and with like minded folks.

  32. 127 lisalovesobama
    December 10, 2013 at 11:57 am

    have you ever noticed how much PBO looks like Nelson Mandela? tall, skinny. the shape of the head, the ears. they look like father and son. I guess in a way, they were.

  33. 136 Linda
    December 10, 2013 at 11:58 am


    Obama Birther Certificate Tray

    Your Price: $22.95

    This is already sold out in New York City store…Chris Matthews showed it on Hardball yesterday and said he can think of a few of his relatives that could use it.

  34. December 10, 2013 at 12:03 pm

    Outstanding R&S, UT!!! Thank you 🙂

  35. December 10, 2013 at 12:13 pm

    Howdy doody all you O’s!!! It’s another great getting up day on TOD Ave!!!!

    I caught the last 2 minutes of PBO’s live speech this morning, because the ol’ eye lids kinda succumbed to gravitational pull. Not to mention all the decking of the halls and trying to stay jolly, took a lot out of me.

    CSPAN will rebroadcast highlighted portions again at 8pm est. They aired the entire event this morning live.

    Now off I go to tame the mistletoe!

  36. 141 vcprezofan2
    December 10, 2013 at 12:22 pm

    “It took a man like Madiba to free not just the prisoner, but the jailor as well”

    I believe that President Obama wants to free people of color in this country from the oppression of racism. But he knows that will only happen when we can free white people from their hate. We’re in the midst of that struggle right now. And as Madiba said “It always seems impossible until its done.”


  37. 142 utaustinliberal
    December 10, 2013 at 12:26 pm

    Feel the BURN.

  38. 143 dotster3
    December 10, 2013 at 12:26 pm

    I see the entire U.S. media have shifted from The Handshake to The Selfie and Michelle’s Unamused Expression as the most important aspect of the memorial. Our media—-hopeless.

    • 144 hopefruit2
      December 10, 2013 at 12:30 pm

      To be honest there were some folks on Twitter (who should know better) but who were pushing this Michelle nonsense as well. I hope they own it, when it blows up.

      • 145 utaustinliberal
        December 10, 2013 at 12:48 pm

        99.9% of what I’ve seen on Twitter has been funny anecdotes about the out of context pictures of POTUS, FLOTUS, Danis PM, PM Cameron, GWB, Laura Bush, and I believe Queen Rania? or Letizia of Spain (they kinda look alike)

        The .1% who will see, say, tweet, print or give nefarious connotations to the pictures lack a sense of humor that isn’t mean and are joyless people who live negative lives and always see shadows lurking in the corner.

    • 146 hopefruit2
      December 10, 2013 at 12:34 pm

      Glad that UT posted this pic, which could be interpreted in a similar fashion – but watch the media ignore this altogether.

  39. 152 hopefruit2
    December 10, 2013 at 12:28 pm

    So Michelle Obama is trending on Twitter. If anyone was observing carefully, FLOTUS seemed a bit more somber than usual well before this so-called “selfie” was taken – E.g., from the time they first exited the AF1 (check the pictures and video). I don’t think her facial expression had anything to do with what PBO/Cameron/Danish PM were doing. She had met Mandela relatively recently with the girls and she may have been just more emotional and less in a “celebratory” frame of mind today.

    Also, with Sasha and Malia out of school two days in a row due to weather, you know she’s thinking about them. This is also a very busy time of year for parents and also for the White House, and there is a possibility that PBO may have to return for Mandela’s funeral in QUNU on Sunday. So I can think of a million and one things that could be occupying her mind right now.

    • 153 anniebella
      December 10, 2013 at 1:03 pm

      I think FLOTUS is just fine. This is a memorial service., That selfie didn’t bother her anymore then it would bother POTUS if it was the other way. We can’t read too much into things because we never know what is on anyone’s mind.

      • 154 anniebella
        December 10, 2013 at 1:07 pm

        Most of the funerals FLOTUS have attended she have had the same look.

        • 155 Puddin'
          December 10, 2013 at 7:19 pm

          You are right anniebella…”that look” has nothing to do with what some folks want it to be about. Michelle is a Capricorn and we are deep in thought, people think we are mad. I bet you she wasn’t even thinking about PBO/Cameron/Danish PM. The MSM is ridiculous (all the time).

    • 156 HZ
      December 10, 2013 at 8:03 pm

      Good points, hopefruit2. Most people can easily forget that Malia and Sasha are still young girls. They are daddy’s beautiful, intelligent, and sensitive girls as well. Remember how emotional Sasha was when the family was standing in President Mandell’s cell and the gentleman was explaning to the family? Remember the photo of President Obama holding Sasha with the most gentle protective hug a father or mother could give a child of Sasha’s age. That was a lot even with Sasha and Malia’s intellect to process. Think about it.

      Also remember Sasha and Malia met President Mandella in his home with FLOTUS for the first time and seeing him even then not well. This all has to be a healing process for the girls. FLOTUS is Mom first. We do not know how the girls are trying to process the death of President Mandela, and believe me, POB and First Lady Michelle will make sure that they think with the girls, hug them, explain to them, and be there with them to get through this. FLOTUS knows how to stand with POB around him, and also know when to give him his moment as President. She is very secure in her relationship to her husband. I take this as a moment to allow POB be in a moment with his friends at that moment and time. AG Holder was right behind FLOTUS, but he did not get all up in the photo, In fact, if one would look carefully, AG Holder is looking down. I totally believe that our First Lady understood the moment and her mind was in a different moment.HZ

  40. 157 Alycee (@jazziz2)
    December 10, 2013 at 12:30 pm

  41. December 10, 2013 at 12:37 pm

    THANK YOU for this great R&S summary UTAL. Your hard work is greatly appreciated. Thank you Chips for creating this space.

    I missed the live version of the memorial but knew I could count on the great work of the TOD BTs to bring me the untainted info.

    TY TY TY!

  42. 161 dotster3
    December 10, 2013 at 12:37 pm

    Sheep Week! Celebrate with this Live Streaming Lamb Cam! It’s wooly! Do it!

    • 162 jacquelineoboomer
      December 10, 2013 at 2:06 pm

      Love that image of the sheep! I’m sending it to my friends in sunny Florida, telling them it’s a view of my backyard in Illinois! They’re all transplants and “miss” winter. (And they’re used to my “backyard” lies!)

  43. December 10, 2013 at 12:41 pm

    absolutely FABULOUS COVERAGE by TOD!!!

    thank you so very much!!!

  44. 165 Nena20409
    December 10, 2013 at 12:45 pm

    Amk? I had not see his post.

  45. 167 itgurl_29
    December 10, 2013 at 1:41 pm

  46. 169 sjterrid
    December 10, 2013 at 4:55 pm

    I stayed up to watch the memorial on CSPAN2. Needless to say, I woke up very late. Thank you so much for this beautiful post showing President Obama’s speech with photos of the event.

  47. 171 HZ
    December 10, 2013 at 8:24 pm

    Chips, thank you my angel for presenting this beautiful place for all of us to come daily. ((((((((((((((((((((((( My loving hugs to you)))))))))))))))))) This is the most responsible place where President Obama can be respected and appreciated through all of your hard work.

    Then thanks to UT who bring the most beautiful R&S each time when given the opportunity. It is so wonderful to come and enjoy the hard work that UT gives us each time. (((((((((((((((((((((((((( My loving hugs to you for standing with Chips)))))))))))))))))))))))))

    To my entire family here at TOD, you all are so special. I count it to be a total pleasure and honor to be in all of my TOD family’s presence each day I rise. You all give me energy, hope, lots of love, and make me feel that we here will do our best to support and respect POB.

    To my beautiful MightyPamela, I hope that your day has been such a lovely celebration of your birthday. May the candles light up your new journey with happiness, and the new place give you much joy and peace as you make it your space. Happy Birthday, my dear MightyPamela!!!!

    I enjoy staying up and watching the Memorial of President Mandela with all of my TOD family. I did not go to bed until 6:am and slept until 10:00am. But every moment was worth staying up. Thanks to all of the contributors who made it such a wonderful historical time for all of us.

    This is a very special place and I am so grateful for each moment spent here. (((((((((((((((((( My loving hugs to all of my TOD family)))))))))))))HZ

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December 2013

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