How do you say goodbye to Muhammad Ali? - WDRB 41 Louisville News

How do you say goodbye to Muhammad Ali?

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- It has only been a few hours since Muhammad Ali's Islamic prayers service took place, but attention is already shifting to tomorrow's memorial service at the KFC Yum! Center.

The service begins at 2 p.m. Doors opened at 11:30.

Today we heard from a few of the locals who will take the stage, explaining why Ali's memorial is called his last great gift to the world. 

What do you say when the world is watching -- when there are only minutes to speak about a man whose legacy endures. Rabbi Joe Rapport , Natasha Mundkur and Dr. Kevin Cosby will each face that challenge as speakers at Muhammad Ali's memorial.

"We must seek to advance the values that he lived for," Cosby said.

"What I want people to know is not only what his life left on the on the world, but what it's left on kids, what it's left on me, what it's left on people who feel like they don't have a purpose," Mundkur said.

How do you make those minutes matter most?

"We've all been asked to bring something powerful that we can share from our traditions," Rapport said.

Friday's event may just be the largest interfaith service the world has ever seen. The Yum! Center handed out 15,000 free tickets in fewer than 25 minutes. The event will be broadcast nationally and streamed worldwide to millions.

"I want to leave with them that one person who has conviction, and does not live a life of convenience, can be a transformative person," Cosby said.

Cosby leads St. Stephen Baptist Church and Simmons College of Kentucky. He also preached the eulogy at Ali's mother's funeral. 

"It is one of -- if not the greatest -- honor of my life," Cosby said.

While the service is interfaith, it's being led in the Muslim tradition by an Imam. Dignitaries and celebrities, including actor Billy Crystal, sports broadcaster Bryant Gumble and President Bill Clinton are all expected to give eulogies -- and all of Ali's children will also have the opportunity to speak.

It's been said that Ali himself planned for his passing years in advance, and those we spoke to included a Buddhist, a Baptist and a Jewish Rabbi.

"I think it says everything about Ali that he wants the world to view people as people," said Rapport.

What do you say when the world is watching, to Muhammad Ali? 

Thank you. 

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