Elvis Presley honored by thousands at Graceland vigil

Elvis Presley: Thousands of Presley fans on Thursday walked slowly and silently through the Mediation Garden at Graceland,Presley's longtime Memphis home. The garden is the location of Presley's grave.

Nikki Boertman/The Commercial Appeal/AP
Fans of the late Elvis Presley gather at Graceland, Presley's home, for the annual candlelight vigil on Thursday, Aug. 15, in Memphis, Tenn. Presley fans from around the world made their annual pilgrimage to Graceland to pay their respects to the rock n' roll icon with a solemn candlelight vigil on the 36th anniversary of his death.

Elvis Presley fans from around the world made their annual pilgrimage to Graceland to pay their respects to the rock n' roll icon with a solemn candlelight vigil on the 36th anniversary of his death.

Thousands of Presley fans on Thursday walked slowly and silently through the Mediation Garden at Graceland,Presley's longtime Memphis home. The garden is the location of Presley's grave.

Each year, fans of Presley's music and movies come to Memphis for Elvis Week, the celebration of his life and career. Presley died on Aug. 16, 1977, of a heart attack after battling prescription drug abuse.

Police estimated 35,000 people would attend the vigil. Last year, an estimated 75,000 people attended. Elvis' ex-wife Priscilla Presley and his daughter Lisa Marie Presley spoke at last year's event, the first time they appeared together at the vigil since it began.

The vigil started as an informal gathering the year after his death.

It has become an international affair, with fans from Australia, Brazil, England, Japan and elsewhere.

Miguel Salinas Caceres, 53, came with other members of a fan club from Chile. Salinas Caceres recalled making scrapbooks of newspaper article clippings about Presley when he was a teen because he could not afford a record player. He said his family used to pay a neighbor who owned a television so that they could watch Presley movies.

"For a person who is an Elvis fan and has the chance to come to the place he lived, it's emotional for me," Salinas Caceres said.

You've read  of  free articles. Subscribe to continue.

Dear Reader,

About a year ago, I happened upon this statement about the Monitor in the Harvard Business Review – under the charming heading of “do things that don’t interest you”:

“Many things that end up” being meaningful, writes social scientist Joseph Grenny, “have come from conference workshops, articles, or online videos that began as a chore and ended with an insight. My work in Kenya, for example, was heavily influenced by a Christian Science Monitor article I had forced myself to read 10 years earlier. Sometimes, we call things ‘boring’ simply because they lie outside the box we are currently in.”

If you were to come up with a punchline to a joke about the Monitor, that would probably be it. We’re seen as being global, fair, insightful, and perhaps a bit too earnest. We’re the bran muffin of journalism.

But you know what? We change lives. And I’m going to argue that we change lives precisely because we force open that too-small box that most human beings think they live in.

The Monitor is a peculiar little publication that’s hard for the world to figure out. We’re run by a church, but we’re not only for church members and we’re not about converting people. We’re known as being fair even as the world becomes as polarized as at any time since the newspaper’s founding in 1908.

We have a mission beyond circulation, we want to bridge divides. We’re about kicking down the door of thought everywhere and saying, “You are bigger and more capable than you realize. And we can prove it.”

If you’re looking for bran muffin journalism, you can subscribe to the Monitor for $15. You’ll get the Monitor Weekly magazine, the Monitor Daily email, and unlimited access to CSMonitor.com.