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Arts and Entertainment

Debbie Reynolds and Carrie Fisher Celebrated at Public Memorial

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Over a thousand fans, friends, and family members gathered at Forest Lawn Memorial Park - Hollywood Hills Saturday afternoon to attend a public memorial service celebrating Debbie Reynolds and Carrie Fisher. The service came a few months after the mom and daughter passed away unexpectedly in December 2016. Speakers and performers included Todd Fisher (son of Debbie, brother of Carrie), Dan Aykroyd (Fisher's former boyfriend), the Gay Men's Chorus of Los Angeles, and an IRL R2D2.

Todd Fisher opened the event by explaining how the afternoon was "a show and not a memorial because my mother didn’t like memorials and funerals," according to the Hollywood Reporter. Todd also mentioned his mother's peaceful departure, describing how "she looked at me to ask for permission to leave, said she wanted to be with Carrie, closed her eyes and went to sleep." Dan Aykroyd celebrated the two women as well, explaining how he "know[s] these women will have a song for us when we arrive at the crossing."

The memorial included montages that highlighted their careers alongside family footage, interviews, and their humanitarian efforts. John Williams scored music for the event, and Fisher's good friend James Blunt wrote a
new song to honor the women's legacies. The final line sang "I'm here to let you know. I'm here to let you go," to which many audience members openly wept, according to the LA Times. Reynolds also received a military color-guard tribute for her work with veterans and mental illness, including visiting soldiers during the Korean War and establishing The Thalians.

Fans from as far as Seattle and Arizona came to L.A. for the event. Many of the fans expressed sentiments of wanting to support the two women and honor their lives. Kathleen Campbell of Hollywood said, despite not knowing them personally, she "decided to come out and let them know that they had a lot of friends that they didn’t know they had," according to the Hollywood Reporter. Heather Jackson of Arizona said, "It feels like we're here to mourn — and to celebrate — a family member today. I mean, we all grew up with them," according to the LA Times.

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Fisher and Reynolds are laid to rest next to each other at Forest Lawn.