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Katie Thurbon encourages world knowledge

Story by Katie

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On Feb. 11, Whitney Houston died at the age of 48.

The very same day, a private first class in the U.S. Army stationed in Bahrain died at the age of 24.

In the days since then, Houston’s death has dominated national and international headlines, and many of her songs have been sung in tribute to her around the world.

The private in the U.S. Army who gave his life supporting Operation Enduring Freedom has received a few short sentences in obituary sections.

Houston’s death has been called untimely. She was only 48, after all. Yet the private in Bahrain was half her age. Many Baker University students would have fewer than five years to live if they were to die at the same age as the private.

Houston’s name and funeral are still making headlines today while the private in the U.S. Army has already been forgotten by the media and pushed down the Fallen Heroes list by the addition of more names of comrades in the two weeks since his death. We must now ask ourselves, what is wrong with this?

There is no doubt that Houston built an impressive legacy. She has sold over 170 million albums worldwide and in 2009, Houston earned the title of the most-awarded female act of all time by the Guinness World Records.

There is no way to undermine Houston’s life work and remarkable resume, but there should be a way to call more attention to the work and sacrifices of our troops.

No one wants to turn on the news and be continually bombarded by tragedies, but this is what is happening, and ignoring it will not make it go away and it certainly will not help those who are suffering.

The media share a large responsibility as the average citizen relies on the media to report on the most important recent events.

However, reporters and newscasters are only giving the people what they want. We’d rather hear about the mysterious death of a famous star in her hotel room than a gruesome slaughter of civilians and troops overseas.

As evidence of this, type ‘Whitney Houston’s Death’ into a Google search bar and 828 million results come up.

That number eclipses the 6,353 U.S. service members that have died in Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom so much that it makes the 6,000+ deaths seem inconsequential.

Whether or not you agree with the United States’ engagements overseas, it’s still important to support the men and women who have given their lives to support your freedom.

A good place to start would be showing a little less interest in the affairs of pop stars and a little more interest in global affairs.