People are calling a parade float meant to honor those killed in the 9/11 attacks “beyond tasteless” and offensive. The float featured models of the Twin Towers with large holes that spewed smoke to mimic where the planes crashed into them.
The incident happened at the 40th Annual Valparaiso Popcorn Festival in Indiana. The festival fell on the 20th anniversary of 9/11. So, to “honor” those killed in the terrorist attack, The Valparaiso Republican Committee thought it would be a good idea to recreate the firey scene on a trailer. Draped between the smoking towers was a banner that reportedly included the names of the people killed.
The backlash was instant. People at the event said the float was in poor taste, and critics online have taken the Republicans to task over the float. Subsequently, the group limited the comments on a video of the float they posted to Facebook. At the beginning of the video, you can hear a portion of one of the calls that people in the Twin Towers made to loved ones after the attack before a rendition of “God Bless the U.S.A.” Though, it’s unclear who edited them into the song.
The Valparaiso Republicans left comments that praised the float but deleted those that called them out. Though the Daily Mail compiled some of those comments before the group could erase them.
“Beyond tasteless,” one person wrote, “even without the fog machine going. Did you really play the goodbye phone message recordings of the survivors?? Who thought that was a good idea??”
“What in the hell were the Porter County Republicans thinking? This video made me nauseous,” someone else said.
The group hasn’t responded to criticisms of the Twin Towers float. Though the group said they wanted to honor the sacrifice of the 9/11 victims, first responders, and soldiers.
“We worked so hard to show our love, respect, our sorrow, and respect to all the 9/11 victims, the soldiers who died in Afghanistan, and our first responders. #neverforget #america”
Not the Only Controversy on Anniversary of 9/11
A local radio station reported that Eastlake High School in Sammamish planned to wear red, white, and blue clothing to the game to honor the anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, Fox News said. But “at the last minute,” the school decided to not allow students to wear the colors. Apparently, school leaders felt the “red, white and blue was going to be seen as racially insensitive and may affect people in a way that we will not understand and for that reason that we were to change our theme.”
A screenshot of an email from an assistant principal to an angry parent said that she understands the “sacrifice and values our flag represents, but I think they [school leadership] just did not want to unintentionally cause offense to some who see it differently.”
The school’s principal later clarified that the school didn’t have authority to ban students from wearing clothing if it wasn’t lewd or vulgar. He admitted red, white, and blue colors did not fall into those categories. Though, he said the decision was made without his knowledge beforehand.