ATLANTA — Hank Aaron was a once-in-a-lifetime figure, a sports and cultural icon whose on-field exploits were made all the more remarkable by the racism and hate they were met with off the field, and a man who became a titan of the community in a resolve to give back to the world better than it often gave him.
Today, Atlanta said farewell to the irreplaceable Hammerin' Hank.
Aaron, who died last Friday at the age of 86, was remembered with a private funeral service at Friendship Baptist Church that begins at 1 p.m.
11Alive streamed it on our YouTube channel. You can re-watch the service in the video player below.
Luminaries ranging from former President Bill Clinton to Ambassador Andrew Young to former baseball commissioner Bud Selig attended the emotional final farewell.
Rev. Richard Wills Sr. officiated the serve and Rev. William V. Guy provided the eulogy.
Aaron wasl later entombed at the historic South-View Cemetery, where Civil Rights heroes such as Julian Bond and John Lewis are also buried.
The funeral comes a day after the Atlanta Braves, the team Aaron elevated for so long with his legendary bat, memorialized him at Truist Park.
"I felt something different when I was in his presence. There was something special about Hank," Dale Murphy, like Aaron a former Braves MVP and outfielder, said. "Hank was the epitome of how we should all be as human beings."
Aaron is survived by his wife, Billye, and five children.
Photos: Final farewell to Hank Aaron