The city of Orlando, Florida has apologized over a statement made while promoting its Fourth of July fireworks special that said it “can’t blame” people who don’t “want to celebrate our nation right now,” Fox News reports.
“A lot of people probably don’t want to celebrate our nation right now, and we can’t blame them,” the original statement said, according to WESH-TV. “When there is so much division, hate and unrest, why on earth would you want to have a party celebrating any of it? But in all seriousness, you know in your heart, Fourth of July fireworks are amazing, especially when you are standing in 90° heat, 100% humidity, next to 100,000 of your closest friends,” the statement continued. “In that moment, something takes over and we all become united in an inexplicable bond. Yes, America is in strife right now, but you know what…we already bought the fireworks.”
The statement received backlash on social media including from the Fraternal Order of Police in Orlando who said the message was in “poor taste.”
The city issued an apology for the statement: “The city of Orlando sincerely regrets the negative impact our words have had on some in our community,” the city said. “We understand these words offended some of our residents, which was not our intent. We value the freedoms we have in this country and are thankful to the men and women who fought and continue to fight for those. We take pride in celebrating the 4th of July to express our gratitude to those men and women and honor the country we live in.”