Freeman released this statement remembering the iconic activist and politician.
“Today the world lost one of the true giants of the past century," the 76-year-old actor said in a statement. "Nelson Mandela was a man of incomparable honor, unconquerable strength, and unyielding resolve -- a saint to many, a hero to all who treasure liberty, freedom and the dignity of humankind."
"As we remember his triumphs, let us, in his memory, not just reflect on how far we’ve come, but on how far we have to go," Freeman added. "Madiba may no longer be with us, but his journey continues on with me and with all of us."
Freeman also penned a column for Time, in which he recalled his long friendship with the anti-apartheid freedom fighter.
"I got to walk with him, talk with him, hold his hand and get to know one of the greatest men who ever lived," Freeman wrote.
We have lost one of the true giants of the past century. But in our loss is the realization that thanks to him, we have all gained something. For in bringing down the evil of apartheid, Mandela raised us up; his wisdom, patience, compassion and insistence on reconciliation make us aspire to be better people. In his determination to break from the chains of the past, he allowed us all to join him as the masters of our fate and the captains of our souls.
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