DEC 10, 2013 – President Barack Obama spoke at the memorial service for Nelson Mandela earlier today, and after speaking at length about the legacy of Mandela and his life he also said that today should also be an occasion to "prompt in each of us a time for self reflection, with honesty; regardless of our station or our circumstance." He added, "We must ask; 'How well have I applied his lessons in my own life?' It's a question I ask myself as a man and as a President". Obama then spoke about our own struggle in America with our "Apartheid", slavery; and the struggle it took to free ourselves from that. "It took sacrifice, the sacrifice of countless people, known and unknown to see the dawn of a new day. Michelle and I are beneficiaries of that struggle. But in America, and in South Africa, and in countries all around the globe, we can not allow our progress to cloud the fact that our work is not yet done. The struggles that follow the victory of formal equality, or universal franchise, may not be as filled with drama and moral clarity as those that came before; but they are no less important."
Speaking to an audience that contained leaders from all over the world, Obama then spoke about the struggles for civil rights and equality around the globe, such as poverty here in America, to gay rights in Russia, or women's rights in Saudi Arabia. "For around the world today, we still see children suffering from hunger and disease. We still see run down schools. We still see young people without prospects for the future. Around the world today men and women are still in prison for their political beliefs, and are still persecuted for what they look like, and how they worship, and who they love. That is happening today. And so we too must act on behalf of justice."
We agree Mr. President, and JTMP asks our supporters to take this day to not only act on behalf of justice and celebrate the great life of Nelson Mandela, but to also take this time to do some self-reflection, and ask ourselves, "Have I applied Mandela's lessons to my life as much as I can?" Watch the full speech by President Obama from Politico below.