Boxing legend Muhammad Ali has been laid to rest.
During a memorial service in his hometown of Louisville, Kentucky, Ali’s life was eulogized by American luminaries
Around 15,000 were in attendance at the public memorial service.
I just want to get to heaven and I've got to do a lot of good deeds to get there
His widow Lonnie Ali gave a glowing tribute on the inspiration of his legacy.
“He awoke every morning thinking about his own salvation 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. And I think Muhammad’s hope is that his life provides some guidance on how we might achieve for all people what we aspire for ourselves and our families,” she said.
Rashida, Ali’s daughter took to the podium and gave a touching tribute to her father, “No one compares to you, Daddy. You once said I know where I’m going and I know the truth and I don’t have to be what you want me to be. I’m free to be who I am. Now you are free to be with your creator. We love you so much, daddy. Until we meet again. Fly butterfly, fly.”
Self-proclaimed ‘The Greatest’ the three times world heavyweight champion was known as much for his activism as his boxing brilliance.
Despite being diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease in 1984, soon after retiring, Ali’s political influence endured.
Former US president Bill Clinton referred to Ali as an undisputed cultural figure.
“I think he decided very young to write his own life story. I think he decided before he could possibly have worked it all out, and before fate and time could work their will on him, he decided that he would not be ever disempowered. He decided that not his race, nor his place, nor the expectations of others, positive, negative, or otherwise, would strip from him the power to write his own story,” said Clinton
The service was a daylong final homecoming for Ali, who died at the age of 74 on June 4.