Michael Jackson Honored in Memorial Ceremony

By: The Associated Press Email
By: The Associated Press Email

The memorial service for Michael Jackson wrapped up with some emotional words from his young daughter. A tearful Paris-Michael Katherine Jackson told the thousands gathered at a Los Angeles arena that Jackson was the best father one could imagine.

Stevie Wonder, Mariah Carey and Lionel Richie are among those who've paid tribute to Michael Jackson through song. Looking on from the front row were members of the Jackson family, including brother Jermaine -- who took the stage and sang the standard "Smile" as he fought back tears. The Jackson family had earlier gathered at an area cemetery for a private service.

Some of the memorable quotes from the ceremony include:

"I just wanted to say, ever since I was born, daddy has been the best father you could ever imagine! I just wanted to say I love him so much."
- Jackson's daughter, Paris, who broke down in tears.

"Michael, when you left us, a part of me went with you. ... I will treasure the good times, singing, dancing, laughing. ... We will never understand what he endured ... being judged, ridiculed. How much pain can one take? Maybe, now, Michael, they will leave you alone."
- Marlon Jackson.

"Michael always knew he could count on me to support him or be his date. ... We had a bond and maybe it was because we both understood what it was like to be in the spotlight from a very, very young age. I used to tease him and say, `I started when I was 11 months old. You're a slacker. You were like 5?' Both of us needed to be adults very early, but when we were together, we were two little kids having fun. ... M.J.'s laugh was the sweetest and purest of anyone I've known."
- Brooke Shields.

"He created a comfort level, where people that felt they were separate became interconnected with his music. ... Those young kids grew up from being teenage, comfortable fans of Michael's to being 40 years old and being comfortable to vote for a person of color to be the president of the United States of America. Michael did that. Michael made us love each other. Michael taught us to stand with each other."
- The Rev. Al Sharpton.

"I'm here representing millions of fans around the world who grew up listening to Michael, being inspired and loving Michael from a distance. ... Somehow when Michael Jackson sang and when he
danced ... we felt he was right there. ... He made you believe in ourself."
- Queen Latifah.

"When he did his iconic moonwalk, I was shocked. It was magic.
Michael Jackson went into orbit and never came down. Though it ended way too soon, Michael's life was beautiful."
- Motown Records founder Berry Gordy.

"This is a moment that I wish that I didn't live to see come. But as much as I can say that and mean it, I do know that God is good and I do know that as much as we may feel - and we do - that we need Michael here with us, God must have needed him far more."
- Stevie Wonder.

"Michael was a personal love of mine. A treasured part of my
world ... "
- Diana Ross, in a note read by Smokey Robinson.

"You don't think you'll live to see them gone. ... He is going to live forever and ever and ever and ever."
- Smokey Robinson.

"We miss you, Michael."
- Mariah Carey, after singing "I'll Be There" at Jackson's
memorial service.

"There are certain people in our popular culture that just capture people's imaginations. And in death, they become even larger. Now, I have to admit that it's also fed by a 24/7 media that is insatiable."
- President Barack Obama, who was asked about the outpouring of
emotion related to Michael Jackson's death during an interview with
CBS while he was in Moscow.

"They're holding up well in part because they're a strong family ... a big family, religiously devout family. Therefore, they have a sense of insulation of their faith."
- The Rev. Jesse Jackson, on how Michael Jackson's family is
coping.

"He was a true gift and there are very few that have come to the magnitude of influence that he had on the world."
- Neil Portnow, president of the National Academy of Recording
Arts and Sciences.


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