Tributes follow death of boxing legend Muhammad Ali at 74

Boxing Legend Muhammad Ali, has died.

Legendary Boxer Muhammad Ali has died and across the globe fans are united in grief.

By Carmen Glover

Tributes have been pouring out in memory of boxing legend Muhammad Ali, who succumbed to a lengthy, valiant, 32-year battle with Parkinson’s disease, after being hospitalized on May 30. Ali, who was born Cassius Marcellus Clay Jr. in Louisville, Kentucky, died in a Scottsdale, Arizona, hospital at the age of 74, on Friday, June 3, 2016, surrounded by his family. Ali has been hospitalized numerous times in recent years due to his illness.

In a statement announcing the passing of the legend, family spokesman Bob Gunnell said: “After a 32-year battle with Parkinson’s disease, Muhammad Ali, at the age of 74, the three-time World Heavyweight Champion boxer died this evening.” Gunnell  expressed thanks of the family’s behalf, for everyone’s thoughts, prayers and support, while requesting privacy.

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Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer instructed that “flags at all Metro Government facilities be lowered at half-staff at 10:00 a.m.” In a ceremony held at the city’s Metro Hall on Saturday morning, Fischer said that flags will remain lowered until the boxing icon’s burial. In a statement Fischer said:

“The values of hard work, conviction and compassion that Muhammad Ali developed while growing up in Louisville helped him become a global icon. As a boxer, he became ‘The Greatest,’ though his most lasting victories happened outside the ring. Muhammad leveraged his fame as a platform to promote peace, justice and humanitarian efforts around the world, while always keeping strong ties to his hometown. Today, Muhammad Ali’s fellow Louisvillians join the billions whose lives he touched worldwide in mourning his passing, celebrating his legacy, and committing to continue his fight to spread love and hope.”

Muhammad Ali Center, located in Downtown Louisville, Kentucky, has seen fans arriving in droves to pay their respects to the boxing legend.

Muhammad Ali Center, located in Downtown Louisville, Kentucky, has seen fans arriving in droves to pay their respects to the boxing legend.

President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama issued a statement, saying, in part: “Muhammad Ali was The Greatest. Period. Like everyone else on the planet, Michelle and I mourn his passing. But we’re also grateful to God for how fortunate we are to have known him…Muhammad Ali shook up the world. And the world is better for it. We are all better for it. Michelle and I send our deepest condolences to his family, and we pray that the greatest fighter of them all finally rests in peace.”

Muhammad Ali embraces one of his daughters, Laila, who followed her father's footsteps in the boxing ring.

Muhammad Ali embraces one of his daughters, Laila, who followed her father’s footsteps in the boxing ring.

George Foreman, 67, who battled Ali in the famous ‘Rumble in the Jungle, in expressing his sense of loss via Twitter said, “A part of me slipped away, the greatest piece.” In 1960, Ali won a gold medal at the Olympic Games in Rome. Several years later, at the young age of 22, he unseated heavyweight champion Sonny Liston at the Miami Convention Center. Ali went on to defeat other opponents including Foreman and Joe Frazier during a dazzling career that was punctuated by highs and lows.

Ali, who dominated the world stage during his prime for his boxing prowess, charisma, bold boasts, joined the Nation of Islam and refused to fight in the Vietnam War due to his faith. His principled stand earned him a ban for several years until the Supreme Court upheld his position. Ali, in later years became an engaging humanitarian who was committed to the common good. He was fond of stating the he was  “The Greatest,” and popularized phrases such as “Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee,” to describe his boxing style. His legendary boxing career was replete with excitement and catchy phrases such as the “Thrilla in Manila,” and countless others, which can fill volumes.

Muhammad Ali, accompanied by his wife, Lonnie, being awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by Former President George W. Bush.

Muhammad Ali, accompanied by his wife, Yolanda (Lonnie) Williams, being awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by Former President George W. Bush.

Ali was married several times and fathered many children. His daughter, Laila, followed his path and became an intimidating boxer as well.

Ali was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom,by President George W. Bush, in 2005. The award is the highest honor that can be given to a U.S. civilian. His Louisville hometown also houses  the Muhammad Ali Center, which highlights his life, ideals and legacy. Fans have flocked to the center to pay their respects to an icon, who, for many, will always hold a special place in their hearts.

UNITED STATES - MARCH 02:  Cassius Marcellus Clay (Muhammad Ali) with Black Muslim leader Malcolm X at 125th St. and Seventh Ave.  (Photo by John Peodincuk/NY Daily News Archive via Getty Images)

UNITED STATES – MARCH 02: Cassius Marcellus Clay (Muhammad Ali) with Black Muslim leader Malcolm X at 125th St. and Seventh Ave. (Photo by John Peodincuk/NY Daily News Archive via Getty Images)

Ali will be laid to rest next week, in a private ceremony on Thursday, June 9, followed by a public, inter-faith memorial on Friday, June 10, during which his body will be escorted through the city of Louisville in a procession that will go pass the center and travel down the street named after The Champ, so that fans can pay their respects. according to Gunnell.

Former President Bill Clinton, journalist Bryant Gumbel and actor Billy Crystal and former Senator Orrin Hatch, will deliver eulogies. The memorial will be led by a Muslim Iman and streamed live online via themuhammadcenter.org. In lieu of flowers, donations are encouraged in honor of the center.–OnPointPress.net–

 

 

 

9/11 Memorial Museum Dedication Ceremony uplifts, inspires

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President Barack Obama, First Lady Michelle Obama, Former NYC Mayor and 9/11 board chairman Michael Bloomberg, view the 9/11/ Memorial Museum with Former President Bill Clinton and Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

By Carmen Glover

U.S. President Barack Obama led a high-powered contingent of politicians to dedicate the 9/11 Memorial Museum in Lower Manhattan yesterday in a ceremony that was uplifting and inspiring. Dignitaries, families of the survivors and viewers who watched the ceremony live on television or as it streamed online, were first treated to musical renditions from various choirs as the ceremony got underway. Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, chairman of the 9/11 board of directors, took the stage to deliver a poignant speech.

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President Obama speaks at the 9/11 Memorial Museum Dedication Ceremony.

“We are here today to help dedicate a great museum, one that rises out of the bedrock of our city, our history and our hearts. In the years to come, the 9/11 Memorial Museum will take its place alongside fields of Gettysburg, the waters of Pearl Harbor and the Vietnam Veterans’ Museum as a sacred marker of our past and a solemn gathering place-a place where we can remember those who dies and honor acts of courage and compassion that saved lives and lifted spirits,” he said.

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President Obama began by describing the raw emotions felt by some of the survivors in the moments after the towers were attacked and the acts of heroism by one young man in particular.

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Visitors gather outside as the 9/11 Memorial Museum is dedicated inside.

“In those awful moments after the south tower was hit, some of the injured huddled in the wreckage of the 78th floor. The fire was spreading and the air was filled with smoke. It was dark and they could not see. It seemed as if there was no way out and then there was a voice saying he had found the stairs. They didn’t know his name but they knew their lives had been saved by the man in the red bandana,” he said, describing the selfless and courageous actions of volunteer firefighter Wells Crowther, 24, who worked in the south tower.

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Partial view of the 9/11 Memorial Museum in Lower Manhattan.

Crowther’s mother, Alison, was later joined onstage by one of the women he rescued, Liang Young.

“My husband Jefferson and I couldn’t be prouder of our son,” said Alison Crowther, as she described her son who saw everyone in the world as “being connected.”

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President Obama, Former President Bill Clinton and Former NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg tor the 9/11 Memorial Museum with their partners First Lady Michelle Obama, Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Financial Executive Diane Taylor.

Obama shared that while touring the museum earlier with First Lady Michelle Obama, it dawned on them the importance of being able to “recall, reflect and reaffirm the true spirit of 9/11: love, compassion, sacrifice and to enshrine it forever in the heart of our nation.” Biting his lower lip in his trademark style, he paused and said:

“No act of terror can match the strength and character of our country. Nothing can ever break us, nothing can change who we are as Americans.”

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Damaged fire truck from the fateful day that is now enshrined in the 9/11 Memorial Museum.

Among the other attendees were: Former President Bill Clinton and Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton; New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, NJ Governor Chris Christie, Former NYC Mayor Rudy Guiliani; Former New York Governor George Pataki and a contingent representing the Port Authority, firefighters, police officers, families of the victims and survivors. Some of the politicians had their spouses or significant others with them at the event.

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Security detail at the 9/11 Memorial Museum Dedication Ceremony in Lower Manhattan.

The 9/11 Memorial Museum will remain open for the next six days exclusively to the families of the victims and survivors. It will open to the public officially on 5/21/2014.–OnPointPress.net