Biden: Mandela Taught Reconciliation is Possible

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WASHINGTON — Vice President Joe Biden says former South African President Nelson Mandela taught the world that trust, justice and reconciliation are possible, and that change can come.

Biden spoke Wednesday at a memorial service attended by members of Congress, civil rights leaders and others at the Washington National Cathedral.

He says when Mandela was released after spending decades in prison, he would have been forgiven for continuing to be imprisoned by his own hatred and resentment. He says Mandela could have chosen anger and revenge.

But Biden says instead, Mandela chose trust and reconciliation as he worked to end apartheid. The racial segregation system was still in place when Mandela was released from prison.

(© Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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