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I Was at the Jackson Memorial

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This was a once-in-a-lifetime experience I will never forget.

Michael Jackson Funeral

Momlogic's Erin: When I found out yesterday morning that I had won the lottery for tickets to the Michael Jackson memorial, I couldn't believe it. I knew this was a historical moment in time ... and I couldn't believe I would be there to witness it in person.

The entire process was extremely well organized -- from the time I picked up my tickets at Dodger Stadium to the moment I walked inside the Staples Center.

Staples Center had a very somber and emotional ambiance. It wasn't a party atmosphere when you walked through the door. The crowd was definitely sad and quiet. It didn't have a concert feel at all.

The crowd was very diverse -- all ages and all ethnic backgrounds. There were a few people dressed like Michael Jackson, but not a ton of people who were over-the-top or crazy about it. Everyone was there for the same reason, and was very nice and sympathetic.

I saw a couple of moms with babies and kids. One mom I talked to was from Camp Pendleton who had her 3-month-old with her. A San Francisco couple I met brought their 10-month-old with them so that they can tell him he was there once he gets a little bit older.

There was excitement in the air, but it was definitely subdued. There was hooting and hollering every now and then, but only when it was appropriate. The crowd was very aware of what the family was going through, and was very respectful.

As far as the service went, the singing was absolutely amazing and emotional. I was crying through every song.

Many of the speeches were surprising. Al Sharpton gave a powerful speech ... I don't consider myself a big fan of his normally, but I was moved. Brooke Shields was so heartfelt. Stevie Wonder was absolutely amazing -- his song was so incredible.

The most touching moment of the day for me was when Michael's daughter Paris spoke. It was absolutely heartbreaking, and made you really realize that to us, Michael might have been an icon -- but to her, he was her dad. Since we've never heard from his children before, it was a moment that just took your breath away. She was so brave. It was a lovely touch, and I thought she did an amazing job.

As we left the Staples Center, everyone was courteous and gracious. Strangers were offering to take pictures of each other and loaning out pens to write a note on the big sign honoring Michael.

I got a bit of closure from the event ... the closure that I believe fans were looking for. It helped me realize what Michael Jackson really meant to people. I was so lucky to be there.

I'm not a hugely spiritual person, but all the prayers and songs were very healing. I took comfort in the fact that while he's gone from us here, he will live on forever. This was a moment I know I will never forget.

next: Paris Says Goodbye to Her Father
7 comments so far | Post a comment now
Kristen July 7, 2009, 6:56 PM

This is RIDICULOUS!!!!! Why are we not mourning our soldiers like this? Why no big news articles about great scientists who have died and they spent there life trying to cure diseases? This man is NOT worthy of the billions being spent, try feeding the hungry with the money that was just wasted.

Nell July 7, 2009, 8:07 PM

Wonderful article! I couldn’t attend, but I watched the memorial on television. Some parts made me want to cry, and I will always remember it as well.

lily July 7, 2009, 8:30 PM

poor guy… because of all the things he bought and built he is in millions and billions of dollars in debt. this is a lesson to everyone: when in debt… the IRS or whatever will find u. just kidding…but really…watch yourself

lily July 7, 2009, 8:42 PM

poor guy… because of all the things he bought and built he is in millions and billions of dollars in debt. this is a lesson to everyone: when in debt… the IRS or whatever will find u. just kidding…but really…watch yourself

Jane July 8, 2009, 5:21 AM

Michael Jackson was a musical genius and a great entertainer, but a very troubled man plagued by controversy and strange addictions most of his adult life. His children may love him dearly, but as a MOM I think it was selfish of him to buy those three kids from Debbie Rowe and a white sperm donor. If his father hadn’t instilled so much self-loathing into him maybe Michael wouldn’t have tried so hard to be white. His billions couldn’t make him happy, but maybe, after the fighting for his estate settles down his poor kids can live fairly normal lives for the first time. At least I really hope so!

Jessica July 8, 2009, 6:34 PM

To the first comment. WE ALL MOURN OUR TROOPS! Not all of our troops are in the public light like MJ was. I watch most all of the service and it was moving to say the very least. I cried for the family and friends and mostly for his kids. Paris made him human for everyone.

where's the dignity? July 10, 2009, 1:12 PM

Dear Kristen, we all know that it’s the more ‘colorful and interesting’(!?!?!)that get the most media hype.What’s sad is that it seems even in mj’s death, the circus didn’t stop. C’mon - SELLING TICKETS???? I, personally, pay them no mind, but ALWAYS pray for those who actually contribute their lives, like our soldiers. You hit the nail on the head as to what’s askew in society, that’s for sure!

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