WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) -- As the world mourns the loss of Nelson Mandela many in the Port City are celebrating his life by trying to further his message of peace.
"I remember seeing pictures of him many times and discussing if he would ever get out of jail, and I didn't think he would ever get out,” said Wilmington City Councilman Earl Sheridan.
In 1990, after spending 27 years in prison for his anti-apartheid movement in South Africa, Nelson Mandela was once again a free man.
"I can remember very clearly that Sunday morning when they let him out of prison,” said Sheridan. “I could see he and his wife Winnie walking through the streets greeting people."
Mandela’s peaceful demeanor inspired millions not just in his home country of South Africa, but across the world.
"I think it's the most important thing we can all take from it is to have that spirit, and the godliness he had in him,” said Atiba Johnson. “He really had no bitterness towards anybody. When he came out his thought was I want to change my country and that's what he did. Even right here in Wilmington with the situations we have going on in our home town we have to say the same thing."
Many agree that Mandela leaves behind a world better than the one he was brought into 95 years ago, and that we must now all work together to honor his legacy.
"I’m going to remember Mandela by trying to live as positively as I can and impact my community, stay involved with the community with different organizations, and try and make a change and impact here locally,” said Johnson.
"I think his lasting legacy will be one of perseverance as a person of peace, reconciliation, and a person who shows that things can come true if you persevere and that you don't have to give yourself up to anger or rancor,” said Sheridan.