I've known men who loved Muhammad Ali. I've known those who hated him. I don't know anyone who did not live in awe of him.
Let's not paper over the controversies. Let us not forget the harder parts of the narrative. In that complex story we find the truth about America: from the beginning we've been striving to reach our ideals and one only strives when they are failing.
"As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another." In an intellectually and culturally diverse republic I'd say, as iron sharpens iron, one freely shared experience sharpens another. Sometimes when iron strikes iron, there are sparks.
When we honor the "Louisville Lip," we honor the tradition and the history that forged him. A tradition that is as American as George Washington and Thomas Jefferson.