#AliFuneral: 10 powerful quotes from Muhammad Ali’s memorial service

“They say ‘you can know how a man lived from the words people say about him, the day he dies.”

Yesterday, the wealthy, the religious leaders, the close allies, friends and family all spoke about the life and legacy of Muhammad Ali at his funeral service at the KFC Yum! Center.

A lot of powerful and inspirational speeches were given by the different speakers.

YNaija runs down 10 powerful quotes we cannot forget from the occasion.

  1. “Muhammad Ali opened our eyes to the evil of racism, to the absurdity of war.” – Monsignor Henry Kriegel, Pastor, St Patrick and St Hedwig Catholic churches in Erie, Pennsylvania.
  2. “Serving Muhammad Ali has been one of the greatest privileges of my life.” – Timothy Gianotti, an Islamic scholar at the University of Waterloo in Canada and a spiritual advisor to Ali, who worked with the family over several years to plan these remembrances.

3. “[Ali] is the property of all people, but he is product of black people in their struggle to be free.” –Dr Kevin Cosby, the senior pastor of St Stephen Church and president of Simmons College of Kentucky

4.  “He was not Muhammad Ali the prize-fighter, or even Muhammad Ali the world champion, he was … The Greatest.” – Orrin Hatch, the longtime Senator from Utah

5. “If Muhammad did not like the rules, he rewrote them. His religion, his name, his beliefs, were his to fashion, no matter what the cost.” – Ali’s wife Lonnie

6. “Muhammad Ali was America. Muhammad Ali will always be America.” – President Barack Obama (read by Valerie Jarett who represented him)

7. “We should honour him by letting our gifts go among the world as he did.” – Former US president Bill Clinton

8. “He taught us life is best when we build bridges between people, not walls.” – Comedian Billy Crystal, taking a shot at Republican Presidential candidate, Donald Trump who wants to build a wall at the US boarders

9. “At the key moment when he had that recognition, he used it to stand up to an immoral war and say, ‘No, I won’t go’.” – Rabbi Michael Lerner, speaking about Ali’s refusal to serve in Vietnam

10. “He gave us levels of strength and courage we didn’t even know we had.” – Bryant Gumbel, sports commentator


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