Firefighter’s 9/11 parade float “was incredible,” and so was the response

In case you missed it: a Wisconsin firefighter’s union refused to support a parade float honoring 9/11 firefighters because the firefighter behind the float doesn’t support the union’s politics.

The public, however, had a different response. The float was entered in two parades yesterday, and Charlie Sykes reports:

In the annals of tactical blunders, the decision by the Racine firefighters union to not support a 9-11 Memorial may become the stuff of legends.

From the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel:

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Patriotism trumped politics in Racine on Monday as a commemorative Sept. 11 float that had been mired in controversy in the last week drew an enthusiastic welcome from the city’s Fourth of July parade-goers.

Spectators grew silent, then rushed to their feet and applauded as Oak Creek firefighter Matt Gorniak drove the float – a re-enactment of the famous scene in which firefighters erected an American flag on the smoking ruins of the World Trade Center – down Main St.

“I was in tears,” said Janet Exner of Racine, who was decked out in a red-white-and-blue neck scarf for the occasion. “It was incredible.”

Back at Sykes’ blog, an eye witness reports:

Three guys came up along side of me and it looked like they had been following the float all the way down from the beginning as one of them said that the crowds have been like this all the way down, and we were only about at the half way point of the parade.


Photo credit: Mike De Sisti, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

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