Michael Jackson: 11,000 roses sent to his grave on death anniversary
Fans from around the world sent a flood of flowers Monday to commemorate pop icon Michael Jackson on the third anniversary of his death.
Nearly 11,000 long-stem roses decorated the Great Mausoleum at Forest Lawn Memorial Park in Glendale where Jackson is interred. Hundreds more bouquets, teddy bears, posters and flower stands –- some sent from as far away as Japan, Italy and Russia –- crowded the makeshift memorial in what has become an annual event for devoted fans.
The crowd gathered outside the Great Mausoleum, which is closed to the general public, got a thrill at midday when Jackson’s brother Rand, emerged to sign autographs and take pictures.
Among the throng of fans was Carlo Riley, a well-known Jackson impersonator who said he plans to make the annual trip from Denver for many years to come.
“Even though he’s gone, this is still my passion,” Riley said.
Jackson, 50, died June 25, 2009, after suffering cardiac arrest at a mansion he was renting in Holmby Hills. His doctor, cardiologist Conrad Murray, was later found guilty of involuntary manslaughter for administering a fatal dose of the powerful surgical anesthetic propofol.
Los Angeles resident Robyn Starkand -– who helped organize the massive rose delivery through her online, PayPal-fueled campaign “One Rose for Michael Jackson” –- said the roses allowed many more fans who couldn’t make the trek feel like they were part of the memorial.
Asked why she chose roses, Starkland said it was an easy pick.
“It’s the creme de la creme of flowers, and that’s what he was."
-- Jason Wells and Liana Aghajanian, Times Community News
Photo: Hundreds of well-wishers gather at Forest Lawn Memorial Park in Glendale on the third anniversary of Michael Jackson's death. Credit: Tim Berger / TCN