Social Media in a Frenzy Over George W. Bush’s Behavior at Dallas Memorial

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Were you ever in a situation where you were just so wrapped up in the emotion of an event, that you found yourself swaying or even dancing to the music? What if that same event was a funeral for police officers and you were a past president? Would it still be appropriate?

Former President George W. Bush was feeling the music at the memorial service for the five police officers who were killed last week in Dallas. 

Bush appeared to dance alongside his wife, Laura, President Obama, First Lady Michelle Obama and others while a choir sang “Battle Hymn of the Republic” at the memorial event Tuesday in Texas.

Social media users were quick to question whether his actions were appropriate given the circumstances.

Here were a few responses posted on Twitter:

Max Tani  @maxwelltani

George W. Bush was definitely enjoying “Battle Hymn of the Republic” a little more than others onstage in Dallas

Was that George W. Bush next to Michelle Obama rocking out to “Glory Hallelujah” during the police memorial? Even Biden knows better.

I wonder if Bush was drunk in the memorial service in Dallas. He was dancing to “Glory, glory, alleluia.”

Michelle Obama gives a master class on restraint 

The Associated Press called Bush’s arm swaying “awkward” and People magazine said the former president was being criticized on social media for “appearing too exuberant” during the memorial service.

Well, if you watched the video, you could easily see not only was the former president Bush swaying, but President Obama and the First Lady were as well.

In fact, the song is probably most often heard during a football game or an event of celebration with a marching band. “The Battle Hymn of the Republic” was afterall written by Julia Ward Howe and was originally entitled “John Brown’s Body”. It is also known as “Mine Eyes Have Seen The Glory”. The song was written for the end of the Civil War. It’s a very patriotic song, but it is also a song with strong religious connotations from the Old and New Testaments.

One line from the original lyrics that provides us with a visual of a regiment marching:

“John Brown’s body lies a-mouldering in the grave his soul’s a marching on.”

I’m sure if you hummed a few bars. You might even “march in place” as well.  Try it.

Here’s a few more lines referencing marching:

He has sounded forth the trumpet that shall never call retreat;
He is sifting out the hearts of men before His judgment-seat;
Oh, be swift, my soul, to answer Him! Be jubilant, my feet!
Our God is marching on.

Glory, glory, hallelujah!
Glory, glory, hallelujah!
Glory, glory, hallelujah!
Our God is marching on.

I believe former President Bush is a very patriotic and religious citizen.  I also believe if you were listening to this song, and wrapped up in the moment, and knew the history behind the song and the lyrics, you might want to be “jubilant” with your feet. It is a celebration of God marching on! Afterall, isn’t a funeral suppose to be a celebration of life among us?

God Bless those Dallas police officers who gave their lives and God Bless America!

Our God IS marching on!

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