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.