SACRAMENTO, Calif. - Mourners across the world are remembering South African anti-apartheid leader Nelson Mandela.
Mandela died of a lung infection the age of 95 in South African Thursday.
Those in Sacramento who had a chance to meet him said it's a moment they'll never forget.
Reverend Kevin Ross of Unity of Sacramento Church lit a candle in honor of Mandela Thursday night. He met Mandela in 1999 at the Parliament of the World's Religions in Cape Town, South Africa.
"I shook his hand and I knew I was holding hands with history at that time," Ross said. "It was magical."
Although 14 years have passed, Ross vividly remembers looking into Mandela's eyes.
"They had a sunrise in it. No hatred," Ross added. "Just loving pouring through."
Janice Bowen grew up in apartheid South Africa. She describes meeting the man who went from prisoner to president as one of the highlights of her life.
"The fact that he came out of jail after all those years and all that hardship and extended a hand to all South Africans, white and black and every color, was really an incredible thing and I think that will be his legacy," Bowen said. "He didn't want anybody to be left behind in the new South Africa."
As Ross stood with his choir and sang of peace, he recalled being a part of the honor corp. that stood on stage as Mandela was honored with the Gandhi-King Award for Non-Violence.
"Getting to see him inspire people from all over the world," Ross explained. "It changed the trajectory of my life."