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Michael Jackson mourned on death anniversary

June 25, 2010 12:00:00 AM PDT
On the one-year anniversary of Michael Jackson's stunning death, fans gathered at the King of Pop's burial site at the Forest Lawn in Glendale to mourn his death and celebrate his life.Fans from all over the world began filing into Forest Lawn Memorial Park in Glendale at 8 a.m. to pay their respects to the King of Pop.

"I cannot think of any other place I would rather be right now," said Yadira Acosta of Mexico City. "This is just a way to feel somehow closer to him. I have been a fan of Michael's for 21 years."

"He meant the world to me. It is hard. I had some crying spells for awhile on a daily basis. I thank my daughter for helping me get through it," said Tonia Griggs of Georgia.

For the first anniversary of Jackson's death, neither his family nor Forest Lawn planned any public event. In fact, Glendale PD tried to discourage crowds, saying that it would not be a place for celebrity sightings.

By late morning, approximately 2,000 fans had lined up to walk past the mausoleum where the singer's body rests. They had been warned about the long wait and the amount of walking.

They were not allowed inside the Great Mausoleum -- an exclusive tomb that is also the final resting place of luminaries including Clark Gable, Humphrey Bogart, Carole Lombard, Jimmy Stewart, Mary Pickford, Walt Disney, Nat King Cole and Sammy Davis Jr.

By the end of the day a mound of flowers and cards covered its entrance.

Mourners were directed to park on one of the many roads on Forest Lawn's 300 acres. They then had to hike as far as a mile uphill and get in line to pay their respects.

Close friends and family members, such as Jackson's brother, Randy, gathered at Forest Lawn cemetery for a private service at 11 a.m. They greeted the crowd that shared the love.

"I saw Janet, Randy, Jermaine and Tito," said Vincent Woods of Compton.

Woods caught the special event on his camera. It is an experience that he will never forget.

"You just can't believe the energy of the fans behind me," he said. "We were all taking pictures and listening to music. The atmosphere was so mellow."

A group of fifty fans brought a very special gift to the memorial -- a flock of 400 doves. They released the doves right outside the cemetery. One fan said that it was a "symbol of his soul being in heaven."


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