Ali's gravesite complete and open to the public

Ali's gravesite complete and open to the public

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WHAS11) -- Muhammad Ali’s final resting place is now complete and open to the public.  A family spokesperson unveiled the finished gravesite at Cave Hill Cemetery Thursday morning.

At the gravesite, there is a monument that reads, “Service to others is the rent you pay for your room in heaven,” words Ali lived by that will now live on forever in his hometown.

“We Louisvillians knew that we truly owned Muhammad. Muhammad was so proud of his city. He was so proud of his roots,” said Donald Lassere, President and CEO of the Ali Center.

The Champ's final resting place also includes a ledger and benches made with granite imported from Africa.  The plot is covered in flowers, something a family spokesperson says was part of his wishes.

“One of the things that was important to Muhammad, the one thing about his gravesite was color, he wanted a lot of flowers,” said Bob Gunnell, Ali Family spokesperson.

Gunnell said people are encouraged to come and sit on the benches and steps that adorn the gravesite, to pay their respects to Ali and continue to connect with his spirit.

Visitors have already been pouring in, and among the first were Ali's brother, sister-in-law and cousin.

“It's beautiful, it's just beautiful,” said Patricia Turner, Ali’s cousin.

“This is a very high tribute and honor to do this for my brother he's in heaven now and he was such a good person in life and he deserves it,” said Rahman Ali, Ali’s brother.

Ali's family said his gravesite is a true reflection of who he was and the mark he left on the world.

“It represents him, who he was, his spirit, his heart, the type of person he was, it really represents him,” said Turner.

Ali's wife, Lonnie, will be also be buried at the gravesite and Gunnell said there is room for some of the children to be buried there as well.


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