Fans Gather for 34th Anniversary of Elvis Presley's Death

On August 16, 1977 Elvis Presley passed away at the age of 42.

To mark the 34th anniversary of "The King's" death, fans flocked to Memphis, Tennessee and Presley's iconic Graceland home to pay their respects to the enduring legend.

The vigil, which began last night and extended into this morning, is the focal point of "Elvis Week," which will feature Elvis-related events and celebrations through the weekend.

An estimated 15,000 to 20,000 people gathered at Graceland, some coming from as far away as Japan, Germany, and Brazil. Attendees ranged from a 9 year-old in full jumpsuit-and-rhinestones to 60 year-old Joe Makowski, who claimed to have seen Elvis live a whopping 81 times.

"I get to meet new fans and meet new people, so that's why I line up here early in the day," said Makowski. "The biggest thing I get out of it is seeing the young fans that weren't even born until years after he passed away."

Fans braved thick heat and humidity to visit Presley's grave (as well as those of his relatives) and, of course, remember his music.

"I cry," said Colorado Springs resident Debbie Moller, who recalls hearing the news of Elvis' death over the radio. "The songs they play make you think back to what you were doing they day he died."

Selected Reading: MSNBC, CNN, People

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