Churchill Funeral vs March in Paris?

Churchill Funeral vs March in Paris?

London, 30 January 1965.
Lon­don, 30 Jan­u­ary 1965.

An arti­cle in the Chris­t­ian Post equates Pres­i­dent Obama’s absence from the March in Paris with Pres­i­dent John­son skip­ping the 1965 Churchill Funer­al. The John­son sto­ry has gone around a lot late­ly, but it is nei­ther accu­rate nor a fair comparison.

Pres­i­dent John­son, suf­fer­ing from a bad case of flu, sent Chief Jus­tice Earl War­ren and Sec­re­tary of State Dean Rusk to the Churchill Funer­al. In his offi­cial state­ment John­son said: “When there was dark­ness in the world…a gen­er­ous Prov­i­dence gave us Win­ston Churchill….He is history’s child, and what he said and what he did will nev­er die.”

The ges­ture of respect that was Churchill’s long-rehearsed, metic­u­lous­ly planned funer­al does not real­ly com­pare to spon­ta­neous march of world lead­ers over the atroc­i­ties in Paris. What­ev­er one may think of the lack of high-lev­el Amer­i­cans in the lat­ter event, Pres­i­dent John­son did act respon­si­bly in 1965.

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