Obama to Attend Mandela Memorial Service Tuesday
    2013-12-08 10:37:47     Xinhua       Web Editor: Jiang

Related: Preparations in Full Swing for Mandela's Funeral

U.S. President Barack Obama will attend a memorial service for late former South African President Nelson Mandela on Tuesday, a White House official said on Saturday.

First lady Michelle will accompany the president on his trip, but U.S. media said the official did not disclose more details about the president's schedule and his delegation.

The memorial service on Tuesday will be held at a 94,000-seat soccer stadium in Johannesburg, where Mandela died at his home on Thursday at the age of 95.

Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton and George W. Bush, Obama's predecessors, will also travel to South Africa for the memorials. Bush and his wife Laura reportedly have agreed to accompany the Obamas on their Air Force One plane.

George H.W. Bush, Bush's 89-year-old father and the other living former U.S. president, is poor in health for a long-distance travel. He issued a statement Thursday mourning on Mandela's death.

Obama sees Mandela as his "personal hero," and in a televised statement on Thursday he said the anti-apartheid icon "achieved more than could be expected of any man."

In a proclamation signed the same day, Obama ordered an immediate lowering of flags for Mandela at the White House, upon all public buildings, at all military posts and foreign missions until sunset of next Monday.

South African President Jacob Zuma announced on Friday that the country will have a state funeral and burial for Mandela on Dec. 15.

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