Friday, 24 February 2012
A Michigan man burns the NJ state flag in light of Whitney Houston's tribute.
In honor of Whitney Houston's passing, Governor Christie of New Jersey had ordered flags be flown at half-staff. John Burri, from Michigan, was less than pleased about this. He believes that lowering the flag like that lessens the value of its meaning and should be reserved for those who have fallen for the country.
John Burri lost his son Eric in 2005, while Eric was in Iraq serving the U.S Military. Mr. Burri is quoted as saying, "Maybe it's a little drastic, I know that's a little extreme," Burri told WINS reporter Glenn Schuck. "But I'm sorry, this is how much it hurts. This is how much of a slap in the face it is to all that have served and given their life." (CBSnews)
He has also gone on record stating that it was not meant to harm anyone's feeling or attack those living in New Jersey but rather send out a message to Governor Christie that half-staff should be kept a tradition for the soldiers who lost their lives for their country.
While John Burri's case may be a little extreme this isn't the first case of people lashing out about the attention Whitney Houston's passing has been getting. On sites such as pinterest.com there have been pictures with comparisons between Whitney Houston and a U.S soldier with claims stating that there is no reason for her death to be such a "big deal" over these men and women.
This is partially true. In essence Whitney Houston did not die an honorable death nor did she go of a tragic story, the only reason for her passing to be so publicized was for her iconic songs. Soldiers who lay down their lives everyday for our protection should be honored more than they are.
However, people are forgetting the simple fact that every day thousands of people around the world are dying. These people are not being grieved by the masses. Many people pass and are forgotten. When Michael Jackson passed away, his family held a memorial in honor of him at the Staples center, where thousands of people came to pay respects. It is sad to know that some people who die of "drug overdose" or such are getting more attention than those who put their lives in danger for others are being forgotten, but at the same time it is important to realizes that besides pop stars, soldiers and those in the public eye death is a reoccurring event in our everyday lives.
What is my point? I don't think it is possible for every person receive the respect that they deserve after they pass away. It is impossible to hold such a grandiose ceremony for every death, but as fellow humans we should be more sympathetic. Yes, the loss of such a legendary signer of our time is sad; however that same day others around the world have passed. While such individuals may not have made as big of an impact on the world as Michael Jackson or Whitney Houston but to someone they meant the world.
Death is sad but it is also a moment to celebrate the deceased person's life. I can only hope that people remember that Whitney Houston was not the only person who lost their life that day, and that a little bit of compassion should go out for anyone who has lost a loved one.
How do you respond to the deaths of celebrities? How can Christians bring peace into times of mourning for all who are lost?