Nelson Mandela  18 July 1918 - 5 December 2013. 

The world is different because you lived.  You showed that reconciliation is greater than revenge.  Your example led the way for reconciliation in many other parts of the world and (one hopes) will lead to much more. 

I was honored and humbled by the opportunity to spend time with you.  Your sense of humor was always on display.  I remember when you first met Judi and me that you pointed at us and laughed and said "You two would have been illegal under apartheid!"  Upon meeting our son John, then 14 and uncharacteristically attired in a suit, you marched up to him and shook his hand and said "You must be the President of UMass."  

In Johannesburg, after we presented you with an Honorary degree from the University, you stopped the proceedings with TV cameras from all major news media rolling and called John and Jess up from the audience to stand with you because you loved to surround yourself with children after having been deprived of that opportunity for 27 years in prison.

Farewell.   Video below.  Or local copy: Video of my comments on his death -on NECN

                              A Sermon on Nelson Mandela: Truth and Reconciliation
NECN-JMW-Mandela