Ali procession flowed through Louisville streets

Ali procession flowed through Louisville streets

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) – For nearly three hours, what a sight it was to watch Muhammad Ali's funeral procession flow through the streets of Louisville.

People showed their respect by throwing flowers and chanting Ali's name and his famous phrases, giving him a sendoff many believe he would have been proud to see.

From the moment, the hearse prepared to leave A.D. Porter & Sons Funeral Home along Bardstown Road, Ali was never alone.

The pallbearers who helped load the casket included boxers Mike Tyson and Lennox Lewis, actor Will Smith and local personality John Ramsey.

Louisville, and the nation, watched as the 23-mile journey took off.

It headed for the expressways, from to Interstate-65 and then I-64. The more than dozen-car procession was prepared to make some very important stops.

No matter where you turned people were watching, from the Second Street Bridge to The Belle of Louisville. The steamboat gave its own mournful salute as red and yellow balloons filled the sky.

Crowds on the Belvedere cheered and waited as it made its way in front of the Muhammad Ali Center. The interstate was briefly shut down as the abstract pattern of The Greatest came into focus for all to see.

From here it was on to Ninth Street, where a camera was in every hand as all aimed to capture history and pay their respects.

There's no generation Ali hasn't impacted. People of all ages watched the procession in all neighborhoods. They tossed more flowers and some even ran alongside the Champ.

The procession continued from Muhammad Ali Boulevard to the newly-opened Ali Childhood Home Museum at 3302 Grand Ave.

As the motorcade made its way to Broadway, hands reached out to the world's hero. It was hard not to tear up as a boy practiced his punches alongside the hearse, channeling his inner Ali.

The crowds only got bigger and the chants only got louder. That's especially true as it made its way to Cave Hill Cemetery, which was the final stop and a city's final goodbye to The Greatest.

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