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President Barack Obama spoke at the White House today shortly after South African President Jacob Zuma announced to the world that former South African president and legendary freedom fighter Nelson Mandela had died.

America’s first African-American president opened his remarks with this powerful statement:

“At his trial in 1964, Nelson Mandela closed his statement from the dock saying, ‘I have fought against White domination, and I have fought against Black domination. I have 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 need be, it is an ideal for which I am prepared to die.’”

Watch the president’s speech below:

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