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Mandela mourner: 'I came here to remember one of the greatest human beings'

Ruddy Roye / for NBC News

Above: As news of Nelson Mandela's death reverberated around the world, people in the United States gathered to honor the revered anti-apartheid icon. Woody Martin and James Dale stand in a corner of South African restaurant Madiba in Brooklyn, N.Y., on Thursday night to honor Mandela. Martin said that he has been coming here for 15 years to eat and share the Madiba energy with friends. "I have to be here because it is family. I came here to remember one of the greatest human beings that I have ever known. His strength, his energy — he was something." Mandela, who led his country to democracy and became its first black president, died Thursday at home. He was 95.

Ruddy Roye / for NBC News

Above: David Jones and Dennis DuPreez share an embrace at the Madiba restaurant in Brooklyn. "The embrace was about joy," Jones said. "I helped to build Madiba, so I feel the spirit of Mandela.  This was my last masterpiece, my last project, one of my greatest projects I ever built," he said.

Ruddy Roye / for NBC News

Patrons at the restaurant lift their voices to honor Mandela.

Ruddy Roye / for NBC News

People who had gathered at the restaurant sent off lanterns to honor Mandela.

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