NY Times: A Stirring Farewell to Muhammad Ali, Just as He Scripted It

Courtesy: Hamid Rahman, Peace Village, Canada


The Muhammad Ali funeral procession wound through the streets of Louisville, Ky., on Friday.

Source: NY Times

By Jim Dwyer

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Muhammad Ali spent the better part of a decade planning his funeral, his friends and family said, and by late Friday afternoon it was evident what had taken him so long. In a spectacle that fanned across miles of his hometown, in memories that stretched over some of 20th-century America’s most turbulent years, and in prayers from the palette of faiths that he honored as paths to truth, he was laid to rest, one week after his death at age 74.

Ali was eulogized in a grand sports arena by, among others, a priest and an imam, a rabbi and a monk, a former United States president and a famous comedian. Protégées and daughters and his wife remembered him. As they spoke, all stood beneath the flags of the United States and the Olympic Games, symbols of a man who saw himself as a citizen of America and of the world.

Earlier in the day, his coffin traveled through nearly 20 miles of Louisville, cheered and saluted by tens of thousands of people who tossed flowers onto the hearse and chanted his name. On Thursday, a traditional Muslim ceremony was held here as a prelude to Friday’s embrace.

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