Wednesday, July 8, 2009
'Somber and spiritual'
I was wrong -- which doesn't happen more than a couple of times a day -- and this time glad I was. Michael Jackson's memorial service on Tuesday was everything but what I feared.
It was respectful and dignified without any of the egos, glitter and showmanship that I thought would have marked the occasion. Even the crowds, which I figured would really be a circus, heeded warnings and stayed far away from the blocked-off Staples Center in Los Angeles.
The Associated Press called it "somber and spiritual." The TVs in the newsroom were tuned to the service, but with the sound down. It did go up though when Jackson's daughter, Paris-Michael, 11, spoke near the end of the 2 1/2 hour service.
“I just wanted to say ... ever since I was born, Daddy has been the best father you could ever imagine. And I just wanted to say I love him — so much,” she said.
About the only point where the service could have drifted was an unusual remark by a slim and trim Rev. Al Sharpton. Alluding to Jackson's controversial last 10 to 15 years, he said to Jackson's children: "Your daddy wasn't strange. What he had to deal with was strange."
In all, it was a moving tribute.