What’s more important?

Controversy over death of music star vs. soldier

It’s no secret music industry legend Whitney Houston died Feb. 11, and many people worldwide are mourning the loss of what was considered to be one of the greatest voices of our generation.

With Whitney’s troubled past, the media has made it their greatest effort to get all the latest information out in the open about her death. The popularity of social media has spread the word faster than most of us can even keep up with.

While many are grieving on Facebook, Twitter, blogs and other social media sites, her death has brought up the question on many military pages and online communities, “Why do celebs get more attention when they die instead of our troops?”

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie ordered the flags to be flown half-staff at government buildings throughout the state during Whitney Houston’s funeral. Many people are criticizing whether that honor should be for service men only or if it fits the tribute to the music star also.

I am not surprised. The truth is I am thankful for the men and women who dedicate their lives for ours. I don’t think it’s necessarily the same to compare the two considering how vastly different they are; however, I think this goes to show that people may be getting too caught up in the media. I believe the majority of the country truly loves and supports the troops, even though they do not seem to get the same recognition or even respect “celebrities” get.

Think of Michael Jackson. A music legend’s death is all over TV, computer and any social media source possible. It was news everywhere and the headline of any magazine or newspaper picked up. You turn on the radio and people couldn’t stop talking about it.

However, people aren’t always aware of the soldier that lost his life, which the news only scrolls across the bottom of the screen, or prints in small text in an article. If we were going to point fingers at anyone, I would have to say the media is a big part of this to blame.

When it comes to students we are constantly involved with social media. We are making sure to keep up to date with the newest and latest gossip. There is a difference in being considerate and passionate and being over involved with others and what is going on outside our own lives.

It seems detrimental that more people these days care about celebrities they have never met more than a father, wife or sibling who is out in war fighting for our country.

There were 468 recorded soldiers who died in 2011. A large number of those men and women didn’t receive national recognition. How many soldiers have died and have not been recognized by their hometown deciding to lower the flag? What about giving recognition to those who have given the ultimate sacrifice?

It’s important to determine what we value and not get swayed away from what is important and worthy. We are thankful for both the influential celebrities as well as those who serve our country and both leave behind a legacy and should get the recognition they deserve.


I think it’s kind of a cop out to blame it on the media that they give more attention to celebrities than soldiers. The media is just giving us what we want- as much as we love to say that we love and support our soldiers, we would be super annoyed if our stories switched from stories about mundane days in the lives of celebrities to mundane days in the lives of soldiers. I don’t necessarily think thats a bad thing; newspapers keep us up to date on important issues, gossip magazines keep us up to date on gossip. 

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