Louisville Mayor Greg Fisher addresses a gathering of supporters and mourners of Muhammad Ali from the steps of the Louisville Metro City Hall on June 4, 2016, in Louisville. Timothy D. Easley / AP
In preparation, Louisville lowered flags in mourning on Saturday as it looked toward Ali’s final homecoming.
Outside the Muhammad Ali Center, locals created an impromptu memorial, leaving flowers and written tributes.
A few blocks away at Louisville Metro Hall, Mayor Greg Fischer marveled at the many outsize roles Ali embodied: sports champion, civil rights icon, humanitarian and “interfaith pioneer.”
“The ‘Louisville Lip’ spoke to everyone,” Fischer said, referring to the dismissive nickname the press gave the boastful Ali early on his career. “But we heard him in a way no one else could, as our brother, our uncle and our inspiration.”