By now, we all know of the tragic ending to the hopeful life of Whitney Houston. She was an amazing voice, I’m sure we can all agree. But on Thursday, the Governor of New Jersey, Chris Christie, announced he wants to lower the flags at half staff in honor of her death.
Christie said he’s disturbed people are disparaging Houston’s accomplishments because of her troubles with substance abuse.
“This is a disease that some people struggle with and conquer on a day-to-day basis, and some people succumb to it. And I don’t believe that that should diminish the other contributions they’ve made in their life,” Christie said.
Are you kidding me? Contributions such as in The Bodyguard? I Will Always Love You? I get that Newark, NJ is her birthplace and where she was discovered at the ripe old age of 14 singing in a choir, but I have a serious issue with this.
While she did have one of the most beautiful voices that soared effortlessly, like an angel, she didn’t do anything in her life to justify flags being lowered in her memory. This should be reserved for the most honorable of occasions such as when a former President passes away, in honor of our American troops, or a gravely serious event or tragedy. With all due respect, Whitney Houston was a drug addict who seemingly passed along those bad choices to her daughter. Not exactly a humanitarian!
And while I understand drug abuse is a disease and addiction is devastating, we have some soldiers coming back from Iraq and Afghanistan in body bags, and others returning with missing limbs and dealing with physiological, emotional and financial hardships. This is such a “slap in the face” to the men and women who serve our country heroically.
We should be honoring those who gave their lives, their time and their families. We should reserve lowering of the flag for the most special of occasions, honoring the lost, the loyal and the faithful; the tired and weary soldiers who missed the birth of their children, who lost a job because they weren’t here, who lost their homes due to fighting for our freedom.
We should be saving it for spouses who are raising their children alone, trying to make ends meet. The spouse that every time they turn on CNN and FOX News is scared to death the next bombing or plane crash is their husband or wife. Scared that the next car that pulls into their driveway is to announce their loved one was killed.
Whitney happened to have a beautiful voice, but sadly lost it all. And for what? Drugs?
Placing flags at half staff for someone with a God-given talent, that abused it. . . Not Acceptable. Please Governor Christie, do no lower the flag for anything less than those who stood and fought for freedom.
Stephanie Pletka is the creator of the blog, Spit-up & Heels. She lives in Alpharetta, GA with her husband John and four children, Jack, Will, Andrew and Ava.