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Wife says Muhammad Ali wanted life to be teachable moment

Posted at 2:58 PM, Jun 10, 2016
and last updated 2016-06-10 18:00:20-04

Famed heavyweight champion Muhammed Ali was laid to rest Friday afternoon.

The private graveside ceremony was be followed in the afternoon by a grand memorial service attended by more than 15,000 people, including former President Bill Clinton and comedian Billy Crystal.

During the service, Ali's widow, Lonnie Ali, took the stage at her husband's memorial to thunderous chants.

She talked about how Ali wanted to be remembered in death.

"Muhammad indicated that when the end came for him, he wanted to use his life and his death as a teaching moment," she said. "He wanted to remind people who are suffering that he had seen the face of injustice."

She reminded the thousands listening that his message still resonates. She says he was prepared to sacrifice all he had, all that he was, to follow his soul.

"Even in death, Muhammad has something to say. It is far more difficult to sacrifice one's self in search of peace than to take up arms."

She thanked the boxing great's fans across the world for their outpouring of support.

"As a family, we thank the millions of people who through the miracle of social media, inspired by their love for Muhammad, have reached out to us with their prayers," she said.

"From wherever you are watching, know that we have been humbled by your heartfelt expressions of love," she added.

WMAR Staff contributed to this report.