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Published December 10, 2013, 07:43 PM

Tens of thousands gathered at Nelson Mandela's memorial at FNB Stadium in Johannesburg

Tuesday's emotional memorial for Nelson Mandela captivated the world. Tens of thousands of people packed into FNB Stadium in Johannesburg, many singing, dancing and chanting Nelson Mandela's name.

By: Cynthia Johnson, WDAZ

Thousands of people gathered in Johannesburg, South Africa Tuesday to remember Nelson Mandela, that country's former president and anti-apartheid leader.

A massive soccer stadium was filled with mourners for a memorial service, ranging from world dignitaries to ordinary people. The loss of Mandela knows no borders, even felt here at home by University of North Dakota students and faculty.

Tuesday's emotional memorial for Nelson Mandela captivated the world. Tens of thousands of people packed into FNB Stadium in Johannesburg, many singing, dancing and chanting Nelson Mandela's name.

The tribute marks the largest gathering of world leaders ever, with more than 100 heads of state including four US presidents. Three of Mandela's 18 grandchildren and 12 great grandchildren took the stage in his honor. Mandela's death is even felt here in Grand Forks, where some UND students and faculty remember Mandela as South Africa's champion of human rights. For many, Mandela's death marks the loss of a great leader.

UND Criminal Justice Professor Michael Meyer said, "I was 17 when John F. Kennedy was assassinated. I can still remember the day very very clearly and the sense that people had of participation in that funeral that particular day, this one's even a little bit bigger."

Mandela was jailed for 27 years by the apartheid regime. He died in his home Thursday, he was 95 years old.

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