Parents see teaching moment in Muhammad Ali's life and death

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WHAS11) - The most meaningful stories are often passed down through generations.

The story of Muhammad Ali, and the day Louisville said goodbye to him, will be shared for decades to come.

The need to share that story compelled parents from around the country to bring their kids to Kentucky, to experience a history lesson a book could not do justice.

While some days we miss the significance of what's happening around us, that wasn't true in Louisville on Friday.

"We're waiting. We're still here," one bystander said.

People lined the streets for Ali's procession -- more than 100,000 of them.

"All the good people," said China Beasley. "A great vibe around here."

Beasley was set on not missing this day.

"I had to come."

She packed her '96 Lincoln Towncar and traveled from Arizona, driving more than 2,000 miles with a stop in Arkansas to pick up her mom.

They parked on Muhammad Ali Boulevard for Ali's procession.

"I just had to have my daughter experience this," Beasley said. "My mother always took us to see these legends."

This is exactly the kind of "go big and experience life" adventure that her mom taught her to embrace, like the day in 1975, when they went to Vegas to try to meet Ali and his wife Lonnie.

Beasley said she remembers everything about that day.

"He picked us up. He didn’t say anything but he put us on his lap," she said.

Beasley came, along with so many moms and dads, who brought their kids, like it or not.

"She was supposed to go swimming," said Nikkita Brown, a mom from Louisville. "I told her she can go swimming next Friday. This is a historical event."

As the procession went by, they all felt the emotions of the moment.

“It is the final goodbye so it is a little overwhelming actually," Beasley said.

Beasley and the other parents will continue to share these lessons long after the last car passes them on Friday.

History teaches us all, if we choose not to miss it.

"We came, we conquered, and now it is time to hit the road," Beasley said.

Long live the champ, long live the champ, the great Muhammad Ali.


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