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Mandela's Life Remembered By City Residents Young And Old

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Nelson Mandela is being revered not just by older people who witnessed his struggle to bring freedom to his country, but also for younger New Yorkers who say he will be remembered as being a true inspiration. NY1's Roger Clark filed the following report.

The marquee at the famed Apollo Theater says it all: A tribute to a man who had an impact worldwide, including in Harlem.

"I remember when he came to Harlem he inspired our whole community, and we are going to miss him," said one Harlem resident.

Always a gathering place in the heart of Harlem, a makeshift memorial was placed outside the theatre with neighbors writing messages, their thoughts on Mandela's life and death.

"It's sad man, because he a legend to this world, to New York, South Africa, he helped everybody out, he was a calm man and it's just sad," said one Harlem resident.

"Oh he's a great leader. He stood up for the African people. We are so grateful to have a President like this," said another Harlem resident.

The reactions came from those who followed Mandela over the years to young people who learned about him in school or from their parents.

"He was a great African president and he stood up for the rights of his people," said one young New Yorker.

"He was a good man," said another young New Yorker.

"All you can do is just pray that his memory lives on and it continues to manifest in kids like me," said a third young New Yorker.

A school teacher who spoke with NY1 said it's never too early to start teaching about Mandela.

"I think it just reminded me that it's important to teach the kindergartners, I teach kindergarten, I'm on my way to work right now, about peace and love and understanding. So it just reminds you when you think about someone like Nelson Mandela," said the teacher.

One teenager called Mandela his hero, another young woman said she aspired to be just like him, always fighting for what she believes in.

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