Family, friends, dignitaries, and celebrities eulogize Muhammad Ali
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WTVQ)-Millions looked to Louisville today, remembering boxing legend Muhammad Ali, the man who shook the world up with his punch, and his passion. A crowd of 15,000 at the KFC Yum! Center included family, friends, celebrities, and dignitaries.
The legend had this day planned out to the tee years in advance.
Muhammad’s wife Lonnie Ali says, “I firmly believe Muhammad had something to do with all of this.”
A memorial service honoring his Muslim traditions but bringing together people of all faiths and ethnicities to share in his legacy.
Lonnie says her husband had impeccable timing throughout his life and even in his death, teaching America to be better.
“America must never forget that when a cop and an inner city kid talk to each other than miracles can happen.”
Actor Billy Crystal who Ali called little brother remembers the “Louisville Lip.”
Crystal says, “He was funny, he was beautiful. He was the most perfect athlete you ever saw and those were his own words.”
He was a champion who Crystal said was like watching a lightning bolt.
“Muhammad Ali struck us in the middle of America’s darkest night in the heart of its most threatening gathering storm. His power toppled the mightiest of foes and his intense light shined on America. And we were able to see clearly injustice, inequality, poverty, pride, self-realization, courage, laughter, love, joy, and religious freedom for all.”
Friend and Former President Bill Clinton wrapped things up praising Lonnie Ali.
He says, “I thank you for what you did to make the second half of his life greater than the first.”
Lonnie says her husband never feared death, in fact he thought about his own salvation every morning.
She says, “And he would often say, I just want to get to heaven and I’ve got to do a lot of good deeds to get there.”
After Clinton’s final words, the service ended with a moment of silence and closing prayer. Muhammad Ali’s family then made their way to a private ceremony at the Ali Center just blocks away.