A Final Farewell to Madiba

World

When Nelson Mandela’s long walk to freedom finally ended Sunday, it was at the end of a dirt road winding its way across a rolling green hill on his family farm in Qunu — “that village,” Mandela wrote, “where I spent some of the happiest years of my boyhood.”

About 450 guests, including family, friends, traditional tribal leaders and a select group of figures from politics, business and philanthropy, watched as South Africa’s first black President was buried in bright sunshine next to three of his children, with a clear view of what Mandela described as “the open spaces, the simple beauties of nature, the clean line of the horizon.”

A state funeral, the strong military theme also served as a reminder of Mandela’s revolutionary past. His coffin was carried to the graveside by a gun carriage. An eight-gun artillery squad fired a 21-gun salute. Soldiers, sailors, airmen…

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