JOHANNESBURG: President Barack Obama is opening a day of remembrance and celebration for his personal hero Nelson Mandela, arriving in South Africa for a memorial service honoring the anti-apartheid icon who died last week at age 95.
Air Force One touched down at a military base near Johannesburg on a rainy Tuesday morning. First lady Michelle Obama, former President George W. Bush and his wife, Laura, and former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton joined Obama on the 16-hour flight from Washington. Former Presidents Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter were also scheduled to attend the memorial service, but traveled to South Africa separately.
Obama will be among the speakers at Tuesday's memorial, joining tens of thousands of South Africans and dozens of dignitaries at the outdoor stadium in Johannesburg.