MIAMI (CBSMiami) -- South Floridians are remembering Nelson Mandela's life and legacy.
"He was a symbol of leadership as well as good will toward other people," said former Congresswoman Carrie Meek, adding, "He took the situation he was in and made it better for other people. Mandela was just a symbol of peace. Wherever that name was called you knew that people were thinking about peace instead of war."
Meek met the iconic leader and called it awe-inspiring. "I am just lucky to be able to meet him and I think anyone who met Mr. Mandela would be better off because of it," she said.
Ray Fauntroy agrees. The civil rights activist met Nelson Mandela when Mandela came to Miami. Then, he says Mandela invited him to an anti-apartheid conference in South Africa.
"Never have I gotten the energy, the feeling that I got being around Nelson Mandela. It's hard to explain but it's a knowing, it's a belief that here's somebody who feels the same way you do who's in a position to make a change and you want to do anything you can to assist in that change," he said.
Both Fauntroy and meek say this is a time not just to mourn, but to celebrate Mandela's life and his work.
"It is not a time for sorrow, but a time for reconciliation and love for all people who Mr. Mandela showed throughout his life," said Meek.
"We must continue his legacy we must continue to take a stand for what's just and what's right for all human beings," added Fauntroy.
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