Muhammad Ali: 1 year memorial service

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WHAS11) -- It was a gathering featuring scriptures and songs.  A memorial service was held outside the Muhammad Ali Center Saturday morning one year after his death in Arizona.

“Even in the face of cruelty and prejudice, we have to remember what we experienced here in Louisville a year ago,” said Mayor Greg Fischer.

Mayor Fischer reminded us of the compassion from the procession to the funeral service last June.  In an interview with WHAS11, Ali’s brother reflected on his character. “He was a giving person and just a sweet human being. Nice and kind to all people,” Rahaman Ali said.

The service included representatives of different faiths throughout Louisville.  They all took an opportunity to explain Ali’s passion for peace.

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“We come here this day and we are mindful that God strengthens each and every one of us. That we need a higher power sometimes to conquer darkness that’s in this world,” said Father Mark Spalding.

Lonnie Ali and the mayor took part in a butterfly release. It was symbolism of Ali’s famous quote, “Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee.” Hip-hop group Jenna Dean sang their song “Prayer” – a message of unity and compassion.  Their music video first debuting on WHAS11 in April.

Ali’s brother making a request to his community as he looks back at the man be calls his best friend.

“Muhammad Ali was a great humanitarian. Loved Louisville. He did a great job helping the people of the city of Louisville and I think it’d be very beneficial the people come to support my brother’s legacy and his life,” he said.

For more information on the ‘I Am Ali’ festival of events, click here.