One the world's most greatest leaders, South African hero Nelson Mandela, died this past Thursday at the age of 95. Mandela had endured months of fighting a lung infection, and finally could take no more, though he reportedly passed peacefully in his home. The recurring lung illnesses dated back to the 27 years spent in apartheid jails.

President Obama spoke kindly of Mandela, saying the world had lost "one of the most influential, courageous and profoundly good human beings that any of us will share time with on this earth."

Mandela was awarded the Nobel Peace prize in 1993, for his heroics against apartheid and his fight to create a new democratic structure in South Africa. This was an honor he shared with many other great leaders and stand-out's such as Martin Luther King, Yasser Arafat, and President Obama.

However, the ceremony held in Johannesburg, South Africa to commemorate Mandela was not marked by sadness. Rather, as is traditional in African culture, the life and love of Nelson Mandela was celebrated instead of the sadness of his passing. What many remember about Mandela was his unflinching inclusivity when it came to all matters of government and life. Therefore, it seems fitting that the celebrations being held in South Africa and throughout the world for Nelson Mandela are indeed for everyone to participate. 

SOURCE: Chicago Tribune and LA Times