Nelson Mandela is in the hospital with a collapsed lung. Doctors say that he is in no immediate danger, but then again he is 92 years old.
He has stayed largely out of the public eye for years, of course, except for big events like the recent World Cup.
His time is obviously growing short, which makes this as good a time as any to remember some of the great speeches he has given.
5. Victory Speech "To the people of South Africa and the world who are watching: This a joyous night for the human spirit. This is your victory too. You helped end apartheid, you stood with us through the transition.
"I watched, along with all of you, as the tens of thousands of our people stood patiently in long queues for many hours. Some sleeping on the open ground overnight waiting to cast this momentous vote.
South Africa's heroes are legend across the generations. But it is you, the people, who are our true heroes."
4. At His Trial In the defendant's dock at his 1964 trial on terrorist charges, Mandela was allowed to speak on his own behalf. He gave a long, detailed oration of interest now only to historians, but his ending was powerful:
During my lifetime I have dedicated myself to this struggle of the African people. 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 needs be, it is an ideal for which I am prepared to die.
3. The Nobel Peace Prize In 1993 Mandela, along with South Africa president F.W. de Klerk, was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. From his lecture at the ceremony receiving the award:
We live with the hope that as she battles to remake herself, South Africa, will be like a microcosm of the new world that is striving to be born.
This must be a world of democracy and respect for human rights, a world freed from the horrors of poverty, hunger, deprivation and ignorance, relieved of the threat and the scourge of civil wars and external aggression and unburdened of the great tragedy of millions forced to become refugees.
The processes in which South Africa and Southern Africa as a whole are engaged, beckon and urge us all that we take this tide at the flood and make of this region as a living example of what all people of conscience would like the world to be.
2. The 90th Birthday Concert Mandela shared the stage with Queen and Will Smith for his 90th birthday and gave a brief speech. His frailty deepened his call to hand the torch to a new generation.
"Let us remind ourselves that our work is far from complete. Where there is poverty and sickness, including AIDS, where human beings are being oppressed, there is more work to be done. Our work is for freedom for all.
"We say tonight after nearly 90 years of life, it is time for new hands to lift the burdens. It is in your hands now."
1. Inauguration Speech "We understand it still that there is no easy road to freedom. We know it well that none of us acting alone can achieve success.
"We must therefore act together as a united people, for national reconciliation, for nation building, for the birth of a new world.
"Let there be justice for all. Let there be peace for all. Let there be work, bread, water and salt for all.
"Let each know that for each the body, the mind and the soul have been freed to fulfill themselves.
"Never, never and never again shall it be that this beautiful land will again experience the oppression of one by another and suffer the indignity of being the skunk of the world.
"Let freedom reign. The sun shall never set on so glorious a human achievement! God bless Africa!"
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