(New York Times) Hours before some of the biggest names in sports, politics and entertainment converged to honor Muhammad Ali at a memorial service on Friday, tens of thousands of people lined the streets of his hometown chanting “Ali!” and throwing flowers as a hearse carried his body to a cemetery to be laid to rest.
There were no barriers to keep people off the street, and they swarmed forward, tossing flowers onto the hearse. A gently chaotic decorum prevailed: Riding with the windows down, people in the limousines accompanying the hearse — including members of the Ali family, the actor Will Smith and the mayor, Greg Fischer — slapped hands with the spectators as they passed.
The procession, more celebratory than somber, past his pink boyhood home and the museum and conference center that bear his name, wove 19 miles through the city to Cave Hill Cemetery, where Ali, who died last week at age 74, was buried in a private service.
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