Moving Tribute To Mandela (VIDEO)

Dec 09, 2013 | Updated Jan 25, 2014

Members of The Elders, an international non-governmental organization of high-profile public figures, released a moving tribute to its founder, Nelson Mandela.

The group, which includes figures such as former U.S. President Jimmy Carter and former U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan, recorded their memories of Mandela in an emotional video.

"What Madiba means to me is freedom, dignity," said Indian lawyer and activist Ela Bhatt, referring to Mandela by his tribal name.

Mary Robinson, former President of Ireland, fought back tears while recalling Mandela's impact on her life. "I first met Madiba when I had the honor of being president of Ireland, and from that first moment he was to me one of the most extraordinary people I have ever met and had the privilege of meeting. The essence of Madiba to me is that he has lived his values," she said. "He is someone I profoundly love."

In a statement accompanying the video, the members of The Elders said they "are deeply saddened by the death of their founder Nelson Mandela, and join millions around the world who were inspired by his courage and touched by his compassion."

Nelson Mandela died on Thursday at the age of 95. The South African icon had been battling a recurring lung infection for several months.

Watch The Elders' moving tribute to Mandela in the video above.

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