TODD STARNES WH should lower flag to honor Chattanooga victims

TODD STARNES WH should lower flag to honor Chattanooga victims

President Obama did not sing “Amazing Grace” at a Chattanooga church over the weekend. Instead, he took in a Broadway show and played a round of golf.

Governors in a number of states lowered the American flag to honor those lost –but the flag was not lowered at the White House.  

Five members of the Armed Forces were gunned down by a Muslim terrorist on American soil last week and yet the flag was not lowered to half-staff at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.

I’d like to know why.

My Fox News colleagues reached out to the White House Press Office – but so far – their questions have gone unanswered. 

It was an affront — whether intentional or not, to the families of those lost in the terrorist attack. And it was quite noticeable by many Americans.

“I think the position of the flag tells you a lot about the priorities of this White House,” Rep. Louie Gohmert, the Republican congressman from Texas told me.

I asked our readers to do what President Obama would not – lower the flag that flew outside their homes and business.

Hundreds responded with touching photographs of personal memorials.

I understand that President Obama spent the weekend with his daughters on a New York City getaway. I cannot begrudge the president for doing that. However, on Sunday he played golf at Andrews Air Force Base.

Would it have been that difficult to fly Air Force One to Chattanooga and attend a Sunday morning worship service – or console a shell-shocked American city?

The NFL star Peyton Manning and his wife did that. They showed up unannounced in the Scenic City to pay their respects. They also visited with several police officers.

“This event has affected us all and having Mr. Manning visit with our officers, and pay his respect to the Marines and Sailor who lost their lives is greatly appreciated and unexpected,” the police department said in a prepared statement. 

Mark Wiedmer is a columnist for The Times Free-Press. He wrote eloquently about how their community had been embraced by the nation. 

“We’ve been laid low by one of our own, a terrorist educated in our town’s school system as well as our town’s university,” he wrote. “Yet to drive past the crime scenes on Amnicola and Lee Highway on Sunday was to see hundreds, if not thousands, of grateful Americans paying their respects to the fallen by leaving American flags, flowers and messages: #Noogastrong, indeed.” 

Aside from off-the-cuff remarks delivered last week on videotape –the White House has been noticeably silent about the terrible deed that was done.

This administration’s decision on who gets memorialized and who doesn’t is puzzling. The families of Michael Brown and Trayvon Martin and Eric Garner and Freddie Gray found favor with the White House. Others – like Kate Steinle — have not.

I know the victims do not look like sons of the president – but that should not matter. They wore the uniform of this nation – and for that – they paid the ultimate price. The very least their commander in chief could do is properly and passionately acknowledge that sacrifice. 

Do the right thing, Mr. President – and lower the flag. 

Todd Starnes is host of Fox News & Commentary, heard on hundreds of radio stations. His latest book is “God Less America: Real Stories From the Front Lines of the Attack on Traditional Values.” Follow Todd on Twitter@ToddStarnes and find him on Facebook.


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