President Barack Obama and nearly 100 other world leaders will join tens of thousands of mourners in South Africa Monday to pay their respects to Nelson Mandela.
The open-air stadium where Mandela's memorial service is to be held, can seat 94,000 people, and every seat is expected to be filled.
The event will rival in size the 1965 state funeral of former British Prime Minister Winston Churchill and the 2005 funeral of Pope John Paul II.
In addition to President Obama, Former Presidents George W. Bush, Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter will be at the memorial.
But so will at least one U.S. foe, Cuba's President Raul Castro.
Castro will share the stage with President Obama when they speak at the memorial.
Will Mandela's message of forgiveness resonate?
And with so many high value targets on hand, and a time crunch of epic proportions, will the venue be safe?
OutFront: Former CIA operative Bob Baer and Joe Hagin, who was the deputy chief of staff for operations for President George W. Bush.
Around the world, tributes are pouring in for Nelson Mandela who passed away yesterday at the age of 95.
President Obama and the First Lady will head to South Africa next week to honor the South African leader. They will be traveling with former President George W. Bush and Laura Bush.
Former President Bill Clinton, a long-time friend of Mandela, is also planning a trip. Earlier today, Wolf Blitzer talked to Clinton about the advice Mandela gave him that guided him through some of his darkest moments.
Joining us now is Cornel West, who met with Mandela in South Africa in 2005, and the National Review's Reihan Salam.
Reverend Jesse Jackson was one of the first people to greet Nelson Mandela the day he was released from prison after a 27-year confinement.
Reverend Jackson reflects on the moment.
Nelson Mandela, the first black president of South Africa, anti-apartheid icon, and famous political prisoner dies at 95.
Mandela's passing was announced late Thursday afternoon by South African President Jacob Zuma.
"Our nation has lost its greatest son. Our people have lost a father," Zuma said. "What made Nelson Mandela great was precisely what made him human. We saw in him what we seek in ourselves."
President Barack Obama, who met Mandela in 2005 said he could not fully imagine his own life without the example Mandela set.
"We will not likely see the likes of Nelson Mandela again – so it falls to us as best we can to forward the example that he set: to make decisions guided not by hate, but by love, to never discount the difference that one person can make, to strive for a future that is worthy of his sacrifice," Obama said.
"For now, let us pause and give thanks for the fact that Nelson Mandela lived, a man who took history in his hands and bent the arc of the moral universe towards justice"
Former Secretary of State Colin Powell was at Mandela's inauguration as president of South Africa - he remembers what made Mandela a great leader for his country.