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Slain Soldier’s Father Protests New Jersey Flag-Lowering For Singer

WYOMING, Mich. (AP) — A western Michigan man whose son was killed while serving in the military has burned a replica of New Jersey’s flag to protest that state’s decision to lower it in honor of performer Whitney Houston.

John Burri set the flag alight Saturday on a grill outside his home in Wyoming, near Grand Rapids.

The 60-year-old Burri says lowering flags should be done for men and women who have given their lives in service to the United States. He told The Detroit News and The Grand Rapids Press that New Jersey Gov. Chris

Christie’s decision takes away the meaning of lowering flags.

Army Specialist Eric Burri died in 2005 in Baghdad. Michigan flags were lowered in his honor.

Houston, a New Jersey native, died Feb. 11 in Beverly Hills, Calif.

(© Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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  • Dennis

    I like Christie,except for this. What has she done for NJ. Lower flags for soldiers , not drug addicted diva’s

  • c

    Lowering a flag is to honor only those who have given their lives to protect or defend the United States or served in the line of duty – in the armed forces, military, firefighters, police, etc. NOT celebrities. Period. Don’t disrespect the flag or our armed forces, or our first responders! Shame on Christie!!

  • elizabethjkrichard

    It was stupid of Christie to lower the flag for her.

  • noname

    We give too much credit where it’s not deserved in regards to celebrities. Be it icons in the music world, sports, movies, TV. You’ve heard the term larger than life-because they are out there in our sights day in day out we tend to regard them in a capacity that they are ill equipped to handle. People expect too much from music/movie cons, expect them to have the answers to our political problems, social problems etc. when in fact very few have any college back ground in political science, any of the sciences, nor do they have any real world training in solving social issues etc. There are celebs that use this to their advantage to influence politics or judges or lawyers to their own interest. People elect them thinking they are highly knowledgeable. Would anyone have voted for Arnold Schwartzenager (spelling?) if he never stared in movies no…They would have been asking where did you obtain the experience to run a state. He’d of never made it into the office of governor…but we have this super hero view of people like him. ..He’s a familiar face…what about Spec. Burri. If you mentioned his name 2 months ago…would anyone know who he was and what he did for us? NO. Will you remember his name one year from now? Probably not. It’s sad that our value is so distorted. It’s sad also for those that we expect so much of like Ms. Huston, she had a beautiful voice, but couldn’t handle what the world expected of her and picked up a crutch in the form of drugs to help her cope with our expectations. Ms. Huston surely worked harder than any of us in perfecting her craft, her talent, for which she received many awards and applauds. Spec. Burri on the other hand, never received any other acknowledgement of thanks for his hard work for his sacrifice, for his suffering…other than a handshake from other vets as he traveled off to war to prevent another 911 attack. Do you think it would be right to give Spec. Burri a Grammy Award – think about it. Don’t cheapen the honor of a half-staff flag by lowering for anyone other than those who spilled their blood for this country. Think real hard before you do that for anyone.

  • Tom

    Whitney Houston was a brillant artist whose voice will not be matched for a long time. That said, Please tell me what contributions she gave to the Country. She sang and got rich which is the American way and I applaud her for that. Is she being rewarded for showing the young people of the US and the world for that matter, that it’s ok to drink and take drugs? She was no hero!!!!! It’s not just Houston that I disagree with. Clarence Cleamons was again a singer and the flag should not have been flown half mast for him either. If a New Jersey resident is to be honored how about we just lower the NJ state flag. This should be honor enough.

  • Bill

    How many ways can you say disrespectful? Why should “lowering flags be done only for men and women who have given their lives in service to the United States?” Whitney Houston was a New Jersey native whose accomplishments were incontestable. Governor Chris Christie decision to fly the flag at Half-Staff in honor of Whitney Houston was certainly appropriate for a celebrity of her stature.

  • Jan

    people should be outraged that the flag was lowered for a celebrity. do we really think these people deserve this honor? Did Ms Houston sacrifice her life for her country?? We should lower our flags in honor of those who gave their lives to protect and defend ours. Not someone whose job was to entertain us for a price.

  • Lisa

    I don’t agree to burn any flag, I cannot imagine loosing a child to a senseless war, my father was a merchant marine and served for his country but yet the merchant marines were never recognized for their heroics, they die at 1,500 a day they have to close chapters due to lack of members, it breaks my heart when I hear my 85 yr old father talk about his time in the merchant marines in
    1944-1946 and what they went through, so lowering a flag for a celebrity does not compare to the mem and woman who have lost their lives.

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