Muhammad Ali Will Share Cemetery With Colonel Sanders, And That’s What America Means To Me
They're paying tribute to Muhammad Ali today in his hometown of Louisville, KY, with a Muslim ceremony, a motorcade passing significant landmarks, and later a memorial service in which Bill Clinton, Billy Crystal and Bryant Gumbel will deliver eulogies. Among the pall-bearers are Will Smith, Lennox Lewis and Mike Tyson, the latter who decided to show up at the last minute despite some feeling that he would be too emotional for his duties.
Later today Ali will be laid to rest at Cave Hill Cemetary, whose the most famous resident until now has been poultry patriarch Colonel Harland Sanders, inventor of Kentucky Fried Chicken. The Colonel, who died in 1980, didn't start franchising his chicken stores until age 65, but it made him a millionaire. He also wasn't born in Kentucky -- he was actually an Indiana native.
But one of Louisville's most prominent buildings is the KFC Yum! Center, at which the Muslim tribute activities for Ali took place (left photo, above).
Cave Hill Cemetery, several picturesque acres of woodland with creeks and a lake, is also the final resting place of sisters Patty and Mildred J. Hill, reputed to be the composers of the song Happy Birthday.
One person who didn't attend Ali's funeral and won't be attending the memorial is Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who had flown to Louisville to speak at the Muslim ceremony and lay a cloth on Ali's casket. But Erdogan flew home in a huff when his speech was cut by organizers for time purposes, and he was told he would not be allowed to place a cloth on the casket.
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