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Op-Ed: Ode to Michael Jackson, We Are the World

By Carol Forsloff     Jul 7, 2009 in Entertainment
Today it is estimated at least one billion people will pay tribute to Michael Jackson in one of the largest assemblies ever to give homage to any leader or entertainer in world history. That fact alone brings back Jackson's message: "We Are the World."
For more than a week the world has watched the events about Michael Jackson unfold on television, the Internet, radio and newspapers. Wherever there is a media form, people have heard about the entertainer’s death. His friends, members of his family, business associates and fans of various stripes have been interviewed. We have learned much of what we wanted to know about Jackson’s life and some things we didn’t want or didn’t need to know. What we should recognize, however, is that no matter the naysayers, those who believe there was too much “Jackson news” and too much hype and hoopla, the fact remains this entertainer has, and will again today, bring the world together in a peaceful gathering. In this case, we will say goodbye just as Jackson raised the conscience of the world about poverty and the needs of people in Africa twenty years ago as he and his friends Lionel Ritchie, Kenny Rogers, Bruce Springsteen, Diana Ross and others in the music business recorded, “We Are the World.”
This is a time, I believe, to put aside the criticisms, the meanness, and the worries the world has constantly, and simply come together in peace to do what everyone should do when someone dies and that’s to remember. Those who don’t want to remember Jackson can remember loved ones who have died or even contemplate their own death and how they might want it remembered.
Michael Jackson
Michael Jackson
File photo
Some people believe the remembrance of Jackson is far too grandiose. Others believe there wasn’t and won’t be enough. But for sure, the very size of the response to Jackson’s death, and the ongoing interest, proves folks need something else. They need something on which to pin their hopes and dreams, their memories and their belief the world can be a loving, giving place. They need something or someone who can take them away from the worries of 24/7.
Perhaps this day will overshadow all other events in the news, and maybe that’s a good thing. Every day, all day, there are stories of crime, corruption, meanness, war, weather emergencies, disease, death and trouble of all different kinds. The world is in turmoil, and for a short time it will come together and recognize the life of a single man. It won’t be for the cause of peace, but for a man who wanted it and sang the song that spoke of what it meant.
We are the world, we are the children
We are the ones who make a brighter day so let's start giving
There's a choice we're making we're saving our own lives
It's true we'll make a better day just you and me /quote]
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of
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