Ali Laid To Rest In Native Louisville
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — The streets of Louisville were lined with thousands of mourners as Muhammad Ali's funeral procession took him to the cemetery where he was buried. His cherry-red casket was draped in an Islamic shroud. Pallbearers included former boxers Mike Tyson and Lennox Lewis, along with actor Will Smith.Ali's nine children, his wife, two of his ex-wives and other family members joined the procession.
There were an estimated 100,000 people along the route, some yelling "Ali, Ali," while others threw flowers. Others were quiet and reverent as the champ went by.
The funeral service was private, but the memorial service was attended by some 15,000 mourners and included eulogies by former President Bill Clinton, comedian Billy Crystal and sports commentator Bryant Gumbel. Clinton called Ali a "truly free man of faith" who took "perfect gifts we all have" and released them to the world. Crystal lightened the mood with his imitations of Ali and boxing broadcaster Howard Cosell before speaking of Ali's charisma, outspokenness and talent.
Lonnie Ali took the stage at her husband's memorial to thunderous chants. In her first public remarks since his death, she said Ali wanted to "use his life and his death as a teaching moment."