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Thousands bid goodbye to Ali in funeral procession

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Thousands of people lined the streets of Louisville, Kentucky on Friday (10 June) to bid a last goodbye to Muhammad Ali as his funeral procession passed through his hometown.

The procession carried the body of Ali, who died 3 June at age 74, past landmarks such as his boyhood home on the West End, traditionally an African-American section of town, and the Muhammad Ali Center, a museum in the center of the Louisville.

It was to end at Cave Hill National Cemetery with a private burial.

Fans then were to fill the KFC Yum Center for a memorial featuring eulogies by former U.S. President Bill Clinton and comedian Billy Crystal.

Milly Matthews, a Louisville resident, who stood with others outside the funeral home where the procession began, said she hoped her young daughter would learn a valuable lesson from Ali.

“One day you might have a street named after you. One day this might be your funeral processional just because of the great name and just the mark you put on people worldwide,” she said.

Debbi Smith said Ali was known as a generous and humble person in Louisville despite his star power.

“He had time for everybody. He was never too big to stop and say hello and do whatever he could to help anybody,” she said.

Jordan’s King Abdullah had been announced as one of the dignitaries due to attend the sports arena for the service, but Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan, who attended a Muslim funeral forAli on Thursday, cut short his visit to Louisville and was not taking part in Friday’s event.

Pallbearers will include actor Will Smith, who earned an Oscar nomination for playing the title role in the 2001 film “Ali,” and former boxing champs Lennox Lewis and Mike Tyson.

 

About the author

Kevin Morales

Kevin Morales

Cayman 27 News Director Kevin Morales is an award-winning journalist with more than 12 years of experience. Kevin is a Milwaukee, Wis., native. He graduated with a bachelor's degree in journalism in 2005 from the University of Minnesota. He's a proud father and a loyal fan of the Green Bay Packers, Milwaukee Brewers, Milwaukee Bucks and U of M Golden Gophers.

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