The world bade farewell to Muhammad Ali on Friday with all the honor, dignity, and celebration that one of its most famous citizens deserves.
The day began with a procession through the memorable sites of Ali’s life in Louisville, Kentucky, concluding at the city’s historic Cave Hill Cemetery. The afternoon continued with a series of readings and prayers before a crowd of 15,000 at the KFC Yum! Center. Amid the moments of triumph, sorrow, and celebration, the eulogies and the hallelujahs, a few moments stood out.
The funeral procession: Ali’s fans lined much of the 23-mile route from the A.D. Porter Funeral Home to Cave Hill Cemetery. They chanted his name and threw rose petals at his hearse as the 16-limousine motorcade drove through the streets of downtown Louisville. In a time when racial strife dominates the national conversation, Louisvillians both black and white stood shoulder to shoulder in the heat to honor their favorite native son.
Ali’s childhood home: The procession wound through narrow residential streets as it went past his childhood home at 3302 Grand Avenue, now a museum. Crowds stood five deep, chanting “Ali! Ali!” as the motorcade wound past. Ali’s family members rolled down windows and waved to the crowd as Ali took one last trip past his home.