A September 11 tribute parade float in Indiana featuring a depiction of the twin towers along with billowing smoke clouds sparked backlash online from critics who called it tasteless and disrespectful.
The float was featured in the 40th Annual Valparaiso Popcorn Festival Saturday, which this year fell on the 20th anniversary of the September 11 terrorist attacks.
Sponsored by the Valparaiso Republican Committee, the float immediately drew criticism when it was unveiled a day prior to the parade, with the group limiting who can comment on their Facebook page's posts and hiding comments critical of the display.
'Beyond tasteless, even without the fog machine going,' wrote Chicago resident Verne Papka in the lone comment to escape the purge.
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An Indiana 9/11 parade float featuring a depiction of the Twin Towers along with flames and billowing smoke was blasted as 'tasteless'
A float was commissioned by the Valparaiso Republican Committee for the 40th Annual Popcorn Festival in Valparaiso
'Did you really play the goodbye phone message recordings of the survivors?? Who thought that was a good idea??'
Along with two grey rectangular structures intended to represent the World Trade Center Twin Towers, holes were painted on the sides with red plastic streamers intended to represent the flames where American Airlines flights 11 and 175 flew into the buildings.
Additionally a wall featuring the names of the 2,977 people killed in the attacks on the towers and the Pentagon hung between the towers, and in front were portraits of 13 local servicemembers killed in the subsequent War on Terror.
In footage of the parade, some bystanders can be heard expressing their surprise as