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Officials temper expectations ahead of 1st anniversary of Jackson's death

June 23, 2010|By Veronica Rocha

GLENDALE— Fans expecting to visit Michael Jackson’s grave at Forest Lawn Memorial Park on Friday to honor the first anniversary of his death will be allowed to enter the cemetery, but they shouldn’t expect to get a close look at his tomb, officials said.

Glendale police and Forest Lawn officials met Wednesday to finalize plans for the thousands of fans expected to visit Jackson’s gravesite on Friday. International media outlets, including agencies from Japan and Israel, have also inquired about showing up, Glendale police Sgt. Tom Lorenz said.

“The most important thing is for people to understand, don’t expect anything more than any other day,” he said. “Go today.”

That means there will be no public event or memorial service planned. Lorenz advised fans to visit the cemetery before Friday to avoid the crowds or long lines of people trying to get into Forest Lawn.

The site of Jackson’s grave in the Holly Terrace at the cemetery’s Great Mausoleum will not be open to the public and visitation is restricted to family, said Forest Lawn spokesman William Martin in a statement.

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Visitors will be allowed to walk in front of the outside of the Holly Terrace, leave flowers or other sentimental gifts, and then they must exit the cemetery, he said.
Cemetery officials will not allow professional photographs without written consent, Martin said.

He also advised guests to arrive early since visitation will likely be busier than normal throughout Friday.

Any visitors who don’t behave respectfully while other families are visiting the graves of their loved ones or attending funerals will be asked to leave, he said.

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