ISLAMABAD: On June 3, 2016, Louisville’s greatest son, Muhammad Ali, passed away at age 74, succumbing to his 30-year fight against Parkinson’s disease. Muhammad Ali, in his life and even in his passing, brought the world together around a message of peace, love and understanding. To memorialise his legacy the Louisville International Airport should be renamed Muhammad Ali International Airport.
Ali was undoubtedly boxing’s most brash, most colourful and greatest champion. The proud Louisvillian went on to become not only boxing’s greatest champion but an instrumental global ambassador and humanitarian for peace. A petition was started for the Louisville Regional Airport Authority to rename the Louisville International Airport after Muhammad Ali on change.org on June 12 asking for at least 500 signatures before the request is sent on to the airport authorities. Till a few days back, it had 398 digital signatures. “His memorial service brought together people from all walks of life, rich, poor, learned, unlearned, regardless of race, colour, creed, national origin, and religion ,” the petition states.
People from Louisville further stated: “Although some may see this as a simple name change, we have an opportunity to show the world our appreciation for Ali’s legacy and his life. It’s an opportunity to unite our city and the world in the name of peace and love. It’s what Ali was all about. We call upon people all over the globe to participate in our efforts. Ali inspired people all over the world to come together and shed our differences. This is an opportunity to unite in Ali’s life mission.”
Muhammad Ali brought the world together, his home going service was his greatest contribution to our global community. His message was simple: peace, love, understanding and using inspiration to maximise our human potential. In Louisville, for eight days, the city stood still in remembrance of this great man.
Published in The Express Tribune, June 22nd, 2016.