Locals pay tribute to the King of Pop
July 7, 2009 (GARY, Ind.) (WLS) -- Local fans who didn't get to L.A. for Michael Jackson's memorial gathered in Chicago and Gary, Ind., to watch the service.
Michael Jackson's boyhood home in Gary continued to draws visitors on Tuesday night. Jackson is Gary's most well known and beloved son.
"I just wanted to see where he was born, Michael Jackson and his family grew up. And I just though it was something special since they were having the memorial today in California and I couldn't be there so I thought this was the next best place to be," said Ida Cochrane, Jackson fan.
Fans gathering on Tuesday night appreciated the planned tribute to Jackson on Friday that will take place in Gary.
"It's a big part of him. This is where he started and his career kicked off and it just feels so special to be here," said Mary Mizowek.
"Everybody from around here will never forget about it. I think it's a great thing," said Jackie Hicks.
The tribute in Gary will be Friday at the US Steelyard baseball stadium with an overflow area at the Genesis Convention Center.
On Tuesday, some fans in Gary watched the memorial tribute from a Bennigan's banquet hall.
"You never know who you may become when you grow up and I think it's important for us to come down and celebrate him as a community because he made so much to the city," said Cedric Washington.
In Chicago, fans watched the memorial service from the Harold Washington Cultural Center.
"You don't know how much you love somebody until they leave. I have never, ever seen anything like this," said Herb Kent, radio personality.
"I believe in celebrating his life. He was a man of God, he was a father, he was a son. He had a family and he was a human being," said Dion Dai Brown Whitfield.
Marshall Thompson with the Chi-lites, Denise Wilson and Kelly Patterson will be at the memorial on Friday which is scheduled to begin at 6 p.m. The mayor has extended an invitation to Joe Jackson but wanted to give the Jackson family some space on Tuesday to get through a very difficult day for them.
local, leah hope
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