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Christie has soft spot for Whitney Houston by lowering flags

houstonWhitney021312_optBY BOB HOLT
NEWJERSEYNEWSROOM.COM

Some residents of Newark say that despite the criticism of New Jersey Governor Chris Christie’s decision to lower flags to half staff at state government buildings to honor Whitney Houston during her funeral service Saturday, the singer never forgot where she came from.

Newark resident Anna Simpson said, according to Mail Online, “We would see her and say, "She's one of ours. She always made us proud, no matter what happened.” The funeral is scheduled in New Hope Baptist Church in Newark, where Houston sang in the choir when she was a child.

Christie said he has been receiving messages attacking his decision ever since he made the announcement.

"I am disturbed by people who believe that because of her history of substance abuse somehow she's forfeited the good things that she did in her life," said the governor.

Most critics of Christie’s decision offered two main arguments: That lowering the flags should be reserved for members of the military, first responders and elected officials, and that people with substance addiction issues should not be honored.

According to the Associated Press, 23-year old Heather Clause from Richmond, Virginia said the decision was saying if someone sings well, drug use doesn't matter and "you can still be an idol." And a retired Marine posted on Twitter, "Why is NJ lowering our American Flag to honor Whitney Houston? Are they all mad?’ Christie has ordered flags lowered for 31 fallen New Jersey soldiers and every fallen police officer while he has been in office.

Rev. Dr. DeForest B. Soaries Jr. of the First Baptist Church of Lincoln Gardens in Somerset believes Christie did the right thing. According to wltx.com, he said, "She was a cultural icon and brought such recognition to New Jersey that it was appropriate.

Christie put Houston in a group with Count Basie, Frank Sinatra and Bruce Springsteen as "the pantheon of great New Jersey musical talents." While flags were not lowered by former Gov. Christie Whitman when Sinatra died in 1998, Christie ordered flags flown at half staff for Clarence Clemons, saxophonist for Bruce Springsteen's E Street Band who died in 2011.

Houston was born in Newark, and raised in East Orange. After becoming famous, she still visited the public school she attended there regularly, and her family requested that donations be sent there in lieu of flowers.

 
Comments (5)
5 Monday, 27 February 2012 07:01
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4 Monday, 20 February 2012 18:07
Renaldo
I think it was appropriate to lower the flag for Whitney Houston. She is a daughter of New Jersey and a cultural icon. The proceeds of her super bowl performance of the Star Spangled Banner went to the victims of 911. Just because a person had a drug abuse problem, it does not negate all of their positive contributions and accomplishments. The bottom line is Whitney Houston was an American citizen and the governor felt she deserve to be honored in this manner which is his right to do so.
3 Thursday, 16 February 2012 23:01
unknown
whitney houston absolutey does not deserve our american lowered at public buildings. what this marine who just died in afgahnistan did is a million times greater than whitneys voice. this marine form new jersey deserves all the attention because he fought for our country. whitney is just a greedy drug addict and thats her own fault. RIP marine semper fi
2 Thursday, 16 February 2012 20:27
Eileen Bruno
I do NOT believe it is appropriate to lower the American flag for Whitney Houston. Although she was an amazing singer and talented human, she was not a hero for America. If Chris Christie wants to lower the NJ state flag, that is his deicision; but I do NOT feel it is appropriate to lower the American flag. Does this flag get lowered for the Americans who have lost their lives in fighting for our country? Although her death was a very sad thing, she should not be considered an icon in for country!!! She is not a role model for the youth of America, she was an very talented indivual who had a very serious drug and alcohol problem and who died because of it!!
1 Thursday, 16 February 2012 16:12
Gwendolyn
I say lower it, this has nothing to do wiith how the singer apperantly died, this has to do with what she contributed to all..

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