Goodbye to ‘The Greatest’: Muhammad Ali’s body returns home for one final visit

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. — It was a poetic morning at 3302 Grand Avenue in the West End of Louisville on Friday.

It was also a fashionable one. The imagery as well as the narrative made it quite clear that the day was about one man, the legend who called this neighborhood home. The one with the name that will stand the test of time — Muhammad Ali.

Ultimately, near noon the champ returned to his family's residence for a final time. His final visit was part of a nearly 20 miles long procession throughout Louisville that resembled a presidential caravan.

To think that a boy named Cassius came from a humble 1,100-square-foot home and ultimately returned as a history maker like none before named Muhammad.

As Ali's hearse rolled away, a sign in the traditional black and white combination that Ali wore in the ring read: "He's still pretty."

As the rest of the caravan made its way through with friends and family members like Laila Ali waving to the crowd in appreciation, there were others like AJ Haines who watched and reflected on Ali afterwards — even though AJ was born nearly 25 years after Ali's final fight.

"I know that he invented trash talk," Haines said. He may have never seen Ali fight in person or one of his flamboyant interviews on live television, but he understood what Ali achieved.

When asked what does it say to a 13-year-old boy in Louisville, that the man who came from the tiny home on Grand Avenue influenced the world and became a global ambassador? Haines responded: "That he had to put in a lot of hard work to achieve his goal and that he probably got torn down but he got right back up."

When asked if he learned a lesson from the days event? Haines quickly responded, "Yes."

It was unforgettable day.

It was an unforgettable week.

It was an unforgettable life.

Rest in peace champ.

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