"Ever since I was born, Daddy has been the best father you could ever imagine. And I just wanted to say I love him...so much." Those were the tearful words of Michael Jackson's 11 year old daughter, Paris at her father's memorial service today.
When I first saw Paris Jackson about to take the microphone at the very end of the two hour service, my head said, "No, no, don't put that little girl up there!"
But ultimately I was wrong. Ultimately it was the right thing to do to let her speak. She was surrounded by her family and this little girl, whose face we've seen for the first time only since Michael's death, wanted to tell the world what her father meant to her. In those two tearful sentences, she turned Michael "the freak" into Michael "the human being."
He wasn't just a celebrity, he was someone's brother, son, uncle and most importantly to Paris Jackson and her siblings, someone's father.
It was a daughter's grief for a father who was gone too soon, as Usher had sung earlier in the ceremony.
His gold plated coffin was carried into the Los Angeles Staples Center to the voices of a gospel choir singing "We are going to see the King." His brothers who performed with him for all those years on stage as part of the Jackson 5 were pallbearers.
They wore matching yellow ties, red roses in their lapels and then later in the ceremony, single, matching sequined gloves.
For all the anticipation of a spectacle and a circus-like atmosphere since his death nearly two weeks ago, this memorial service was really quite dignified, well orchestrated and the right balance of public spectacle and private grief. It's what his family wanted and his fans needed.