The world has lost one it's brightest lights and greatest leaders and we are left with memories of how he changed South Africa and inspired the world.
Mandela fought against apartheid with courage, grace, dignity, all through non-violent methods. Even after his release from prison, he was not looking for revenge against his captors, but rather he focussed on healing and bringing about change and liberty to his nation.
As a Canadian, I am proud that our country played a leading role to maintain stiff economic sanctions against South Africa to bring an end to the regime. Although this wasn't a popular approach, particularly in the US and the UK, I believe that time has shown we were on the rig side of history. Mandela wrote that "Canada provided strong and principled leadership in the battle against apartheid."
Mandela gave his first speech to any foreign legislature to the Canadian Parliament, and in 2001, the government made him an honorary Canadian citizen. Mandela said it was an honour, but we knew the honour was ours.
Although it was known that his health was diminishing, there is profound sense of loss around the world. However, his message and inspiration will continue to shine long after the mourning has passed.