Suncoast residents remember Mandela's life and achievements

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SARASOTA-- From South Africa to Sarasota, the world is mourning the loss of the great civil rights leader, Nelson Mandela.

Suncoast residents, Reverend Jesse Anderson Junior and Sherry Suggs are proud Mandela supporters. Neither knew him personally, but like so many people around the world, they idolize the late South African President and respect everything he stood for. 

"I was saddened to hear about his transition, but at the same time, now he is no longer suffering from pain. You have to let him go, said Suggs.

Suggs is a former Foreign Service Officer who spent a lot of time in South Africa in 2003.

"I think we can all use Nelson Mandela as an example of what can happen if we work together, not as black and white, but as people that are members of the human race," said Suggs.

Reverend Suggs is the former Rector of the African Episcopal Chruch in Philadelphia. He and his wife visited South Africa for the first time last year.

"This is the kind of person you want to pattern yourself after," said Anderson. "Just to hear the stories about Mandela and all that he did to take that country and talk about reconciliation, was just tremendous."