Reno, Nev. (MyNews4.com & KRNV) – South Africa just began its ten days of mourning for the loss of Nelson Mandela. However, he was not just a product of the South African nation, he was deemed a global citizen, whose legacy transcends continents, race, culture, and religion.
On Sunday, December 8th, an inter-faith memorial service was held locally to honor the civil rights leader.
During the ceremony, speakers echoed the wisdom of Nelson Mandela at the Reno Buddhist Center. Religious leaders, and Meryl Wynn, a local relative of Mandela who is originally from South Africa said this isn't a time to mourn, but a time to celebrate the life of Mandela. Why? Wynn said, "We can celebrate his life because he fought, and he fought a good fight."
As our community celebrated Mandela's life, Wynn also reminded the crowd to remember one of Mandela's greatest teachings: the concept of being free. She believes our community would benefit from being free mentally and in everything we want to accomplish.
Wynn said, "I think as a community with putting contributions and ideas together, bringing peace and forgiveness and becoming a unit as one we would be free."
Speakers at the memorial also stressed the significance of teaching our students and children why Mandela's legacy is so important. Parents in the crowd told News 4 what they want the next generation to embrace about Mandela. Matthew Oberg, an attendee and father said he will teach his infant son Mandela's teachings as he grows up, and wants his son to know, "...that it's possible to be the forgiving, incredible, peacemaker that Nelson was."
In addition, speakers also told those in attendance that the only way to continue a legacy is to become a product of it, and to carry on the work of our heroes. For Mandela's legacy to live on in Reno and around the world, they say communities must come together, as one.
Wynn concluded that "...when you pass away, you see the life that you lived. So, I think he [Mandela] lived a life of greatness to where people come together as one voice, one body, and one sound."