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Millions worldwide share difficult Mandela vigil

June 29, 2013

As Nelson Mandela slowly fades into history, yet another remarkable moment is helping to seal his legacy: Millions of people around the world are preparing for this beloved man to die.

There are prayers and vigils, pictures and candles, headlines and YouTube videos. And as the 94-year-old Mandela’s hospitalization continues, many are caught in an awkward limbo. They are sharing on a global scale what is usually a private scenario.

Sociology professor Lori Brown of Meredith College says the world is waiting to honor the man who proved the power of unity and forgiveness.

She says even though it’s possible to honor Mandela while he’s alive, his death will allow the world to experience a rite of passage.

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