Hundreds lined the rail at Louisville’s Belvedere Plaza, overlooking Interstate 64, just next to the Muhammad Ali Center.
“Here comes the champ!” one man shouted as the funeral procession neared and the crowd fell silent.
Down below, the windows of limousines rolled down and arms stretched out to wave back.
Edward Fletcher swore he saw actor Will Smith wave at him.
“My heart is racing,” said Mona Fletcher, Edward’s wife.
The Fletchers brought their 11-year-old granddaughter, Iyanna Cleveland, from their home in Atlanta.
Edward, a 62-year-old retired firefighter, said he admired Ali since he was a young boy.
Alan Hensley, from Indiana, was standing against the rail when he saw Iyanna behind him struggling to see.
Mona Fletcher remarked that it was symbolic of what Ali stood for: grace and kindness, even if it cost him the best view.