Reporting Jim Melwert
By Jim Melwert
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Today, flags in New Jersey will be lowered to half-staff in memory of Whitney Houston and there are new details on funeral services for the legendary singer.
Stevie Wonder, Aretha Franklin and Alicia Keys will sing at Whitney Houston’s funeral service. And, Houston’s ex-husband, singer Bobby Brown has been invited to attend the service.
Police in Newark will shut down streets for six blocks around the church to keep the public away. There will be two staging areas for memorials.
Today, flags in New Jersey will be lowered to half-staff. In issuing the order, Governor Chris Christie says, “Houston leaves a legacy that will be cherished for years.”
But, the governor has been criticized by people who feel flags at half-staff should be reserved for service men and women or first responders.
Opinions here in the Garden State differ. Some are dubious about bestowing such an honor on a performer.
“I totally agree with that. (It) should only be for first responders. And (it’s) out of respect.”
“It boggles my mind that they can even consider something like that, but that’s the world we live in, everyone’s got to be so P.C. and make her into some huge ordeal.”
Others say it’s a fitting tribute to a legend.
“She was the greatest singer in the world, why not? I mean she was an icon.”
“No, I think it’s okay. I think times are changing. She was kind of like an icon you would say.”
Christie has ordered flags at half staff over 40 times in his term, including for saxophonist Clarence Clemons, and for every soldier who’s been killed in action, or first responder killed in the line of duty.
You can see a livestream of the service right here on CBSPhilly.com, starting at noon, tomorrow.