Fans, Linda Thompson And George Bush Mark Anniversary

Fans of the King from around the world are in Memphis, Tenn., honoring the 29th anniversary of Elvis Presley's death. President Bush and his wife, who brought Elvis fan and Japanese leader Junichiro Koizumi to Memphis in June for a tour of Graceland, sent their regards. After the visit, "we were reminded that Elvis Presley will forever have a special place in the cultural life of America," Bush wrote in the letter. The White House sent a letter to be read to the fans noting Presley's "special place in the cultural life of America." It says the anniversary gives fans around the world an opportunity to come together, share memories and celebrate Presley's legacy. The letter will be placed in the Presley archives after being displayed for a limited time in the trophy room at the mansion, Kern said. Linda Thompson remembers Elvis: The 29th anniversary of Elvis Presley's death was August 16, 2006, and thousands gathered outside Graceland to pay their respects, but only "Extra's" Carlos Diaz went behind the gates with the ultimate Elvis expert, Linda Thompson. "For the first time in too many years, I'm back at Graceland where Elvis lived and ultimately died 29 years ago this week," Linda said. Linda and Elvis were together for four and a half years and lived together at Graceland during that time. However, she moved out about eight months before his tragic death. "To the world he was The King," Linda said. "To me he was the sweet southern gentleman who swept me off my feet back in 1972. In Memphis for Elvis Week I got to meet with fans, fanatics and old friends, who I haven't seen in many years who gathered to honor his memory." Linda gave "Extra" a tour of Graceland, including the famous Jungle room. "Elvis and I actually went shopping, and we picked out all this furniture together, so I helped him decorate this room," Linda said. "Please keep in mind that it was his taste I was deferring to." Linda also showed us a piece of jewelry she gave Elvis as a Christmas gift one year. "I designed this Maltese cross for him with our birthstones, each heart, intertwined and brought together by a single diamond," Linda shared. "So many memories, so little time Presley died of heart disease and prescription drug abuse at his Graceland mansion on Aug. 16, 1977. The singer's fans traditionally file past his grave site at Graceland on the eve of the anniversary. A spokesman says as many as 10,000 fans could visit the mansion for this year's vigil.
Source: Associated Press / Updated: Aug 16, 2006 
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Narek (profilecontact) wrote on Aug 25, 2006report abuse
Now he plays Presley card...makes me sick
J.Raphael (profilecontact) wrote on Aug 17, 2006report abuse
Happy to see that the actual US-President acknowledges the devotion and love of the fans for Elvis Presley. In those days of war and terror it is a beautiful thing to see that 10'000 people from all over the world gather in peace and harmony to celebrate the neverending love, music and memory of a single artist! Where else can we see such a wonderful thing???
Shakingruud (profilecontact) wrote on Aug 17, 2006report abuse
thanks June, very impressive....
June (profilecontact) wrote on Aug 17, 2006report abuse
There was a decent amount of fans this year, in spite of the fact that everyone kept saying, it would be too slow. I would guess around 10,000. A lot of the same faces and tons of... younger fans. I was so impressed with the amount of fans in their 20's. They all were saying that they were going to return next year. One of the young men I walked up to the Meditation Garden with, (he was 23)...was openly weeping and said that he 'would give everything he had, if only Elvis was alive'. Very moving indeed. Some of the tour groups said their amounts were smaller but, they already had large commitments for '07. Lord, I hope that Memphis has enough hotels to accomodate everyone.
PTCJones (profilecontact) wrote on Aug 17, 2006report abuse
I heard President Clinton is a huge Elvis fan.
Devon (profilecontact) wrote on Aug 16, 2006report abuse
I was there as i am every year, so many fans it is so great to know that Elvis will always be in our lives. Hope every one is there next year for the 30th year of his passing.
Kenneth (profilecontact) wrote on Aug 16, 2006report abuse
decent of BUSH, where's CLINTON??
Shakingruud (profilecontact) wrote on Aug 16, 2006report abuse
Hi June, Was it a big crowd this year, or is everyone waiting to go to Graceland next year?( like myself)
June (profilecontact) wrote on Aug 16, 2006report abuse
As always, it was beautiful. Listening to Elvis music while walking slowly with a lighted candle, just taking in everything around you, makes you weep. The hardest thing, after an activity filled Elvis Week, is the knowledge that we will not see our dear friends who come from every country around the globe, until next year and that our hero is not coming back. I saw a lot of tears last night and a lot of love. You cannot see that anywhere but at Graceland.

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