If there is one person in my lifetime who is a true global hero it would have to be Nelson Mandela.  Its amazing what he was able to accomplish and how strong his character was in bringing South Africa together and making a peaceful transition from Apartheid to a society, certainly not without its problems and inequalities, but that in many ways seems to have reconciled its despicable past much better than the United States has dealt with ours.

One of the most amazing parks I've visited is Freedom Park in Tshwane/Pretoria South Africa.  It serves as a memorial to South Africa's past and all the people who sacrificed to make the country what it was today, recognizing not only those who died in the struggle against apartheid, but also white South Africans who died for their country in world wars and other conflicts.  In the distance, you can see the Voortrekker Monument, one of the ugliest structures I've seen, built to commemorate the Voortrekkers who brutalized the indigenous population and constructed by the prime minister who championed apartheid.  

The new government would have been totally justified in tearing down that monstrosity, but instead, decided to keep it to recognize the descendants of the Voortrekkers and planned to build a bridge between the two hills to connect Freedom Park to the Voortrekker Monument.  I hope one day the Middle East will have a similar park, but it will take a Mandela-caliber leader to get there.
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