VALPARAISO, Ind. (WISH) — A 9/11 tribute parade float sponsored by the Valparaiso Republican’s has become the target of nation-wide criticism.
The float, which was one of many in Valparaiso’s annual Popcorn Festival on Saturday, featured two identical tower-like structures with smoke billowing out of a hole in each.
“And the award for the most tasteless Popcorn Fest float goes to,” reads the text of a viral TikTok showcasing the display.
In a YouTube video of the float passing by, many in the crowd can be heard voicing their disbelief.
But that was only the beginning of the criticism.
By Monday, the display had drawn national disapproval.
The New York Post called the float “tasteless.”
“Talk about a 9/11 memorial that misses by a mile,” TMZ wrote.
Our Popcorn Festival float was inspired by the courage and sacrifice of those we lost on September 11, 2001, and recently in Kabul, Afghanistan. We felt it important, considering the parade coincided with the 20th anniversary of that horrible day, and that Indiana welcomed home one of the Afghanistan fallen the next day, to dedicate our float not to politics and candidates, but to the innocent civilians, first responders and brave military who perished and whose memories we’ll never forget. We wished no disrespect and regret that our tribute to the lives lost and those who continue to serve was to some perceived in bad taste.Michael Simpson | Porter County GOP chairman