JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- It was 1992. Nelson Mandela had just been released from prison. And Nancy Soderberg was working for Sen. Ted Kennedy, who was a leader in the anti-apartheid movement at the time.
"Because of our work in the anti-apartheid movement, he agreed to see me. It was quite an experience," said Soderberg.
The former U.N. ambassador called the former South African president "regal." She said he was a man with an inner peace that could felt by others around him, even after spending 27 years in prison.
Soderberg said, "I asked him, aren't you bitter that they took 27 years of your life? And he said "No, I've felt honored to be a part of something that was larger than myself."
She said it was his ability to see the bigger picture that made him special, his view that he was a small part in a much larger struggle and his sacrifice for the greater good.
"We were all blessed to have 95 years with him on earth, and I have no doubt his legacy will live on for many many centuries to come," she said.