... we are privileged to be visited by only a few great souls. For many of these, their deeds are quiet and their greatness only realized long after they have left us. The greatest among them, however, shine with a light that is unmistakable. So bright is that light that even those who oppose them stand in awe of it. For such as these, their deeds are not quiet, instead even the smallest of them echoes through the world like the thunderbolts of Jove. They inspire, they lift us up, they raise our eyes so that we too might see the goal within reach.
These are the people who, in ancient times, would become the heroes of sagas. The people who our forebears would sing of and tell tales of until their memory takes on mythical proportions and whose memory will last for centuries.
These are the people whose mark upon the world is not a scar we must seek to heal but a healing we must rejoice in. Those who come after us will remember the greatness of this one person who lived among us even after each of us are long forgotten and they will remember with respect and honor.
We have been both honored and privileged to have been witness to the life of one such man.
Be at peace, Mr Mandela. You once said that you wished to be remembered as a man who did his duty in the world and nothing more. You will not get that wish, Madiba. Your memory could never be that small. You rescued an oppressed people from that life of oppression and at the same time you rescued the people oppressing them from the twisted and confined life that they led too. May you have a peace at least as great as that which you brought to ALL the people of your nation, and may you never be forgotten.