Photo by AP/Huffington Post

President Barack Obama ordered flags at the White House and other public and military facilities to be flown at half-staff through sunset on December 9 to honor the passing of Nelson Mandela.

The South African icon, who was the country’s first black president, passed away Thursday at the age of 95 after a long battle with a lung infection.

“We’ve lost one of the most influential, courageous and profoundly good human beings that any of us will share time with,” Obama said of Mandela after news of his death broke. “He no longer belongs to us, he belongs to the ages … His commitment to transfer power and reconcile with those who jailed him set an example that all humanity should aspire to.”

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