City of Orlando apologizes for controversial Fourth of July message after criticism from DeSantis staffer

Cropped Photo: Bill Dickinson / CC BY-SA 3.0 US
Cropped Photo: Bill Dickinson / CC BY-SA 3.0 US(WCTV)
Published: Jul. 3, 2022 at 12:50 PM CDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

ORLANDO, Fla. (WVUE) - The City of Orlando apologized for a controversial Fourth of July message sent to recipients of an official city government newsletter this weekend after its content was criticized by Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’ press secretary.

The message, sent Friday to “City News” email subscribers, featured a file photo of fireworks bursting over the city and said, “A lot of people probably don’t want to celebrate our nation right now, and we can’t blame them. 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-degree heat, 100 percent humidity, next to 100,000 of your closest friends. 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.”

DeSantis’ press secretary Christina Pushaw reposted the message on her Twitter account, asking, “Yikes. City of Orlando, is this your official position on our country and on 4th of July?”

By Saturday, Orlando officials had sent subscribers a statement of apology.

“The City of Orlando sincerely regrets the negative impact our words have had on some in our community,” the statement 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 have 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.”

See a spelling or grammar error in our story? Click Here to report it. Please include the headline.

Copyright 2022 WVUE. All rights reserved.