Orlando Apologizes for 'Inflammatory' Fourth of July Post Referencing Hate

City officials in Orlando, Florida, have apologized for an "inflammatory" Fourth of July post that referred to "division" and "hate" after it received backlash from others over the weekend.

The city wrote in a statement on Friday that "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?" the statement read, which invited local residents to a Fourth of July fireworks show, which city officials said would unite people, regardless of their political affiliation.

"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 concluded.

Orlando apologizes for July 4 post
Orlando city officials apologized for an “inflammatory” statement about the Fourth of July that received criticism over the weekend. Above, fireworks are seen at a Boston Fourth of July celebration in 2015. Paul Marotta/Getty Images

The post did not specifically say why people may be feeling less inclined to celebrate the holiday, though some people are not doing so over the Supreme Court's overturning of Roe v. Wade, the decision that guaranteed abortion rights across the country. Some people may also be abstaining from the festivities over high gas prices and inflation, which have made it more expensive and difficult to have a Fourth of July party.

Some took issue with the city's statement, which critics said only caused more division.

In response, the local police union said in their own statement: "The members of the Fraternal Order of police Lodge 25 are proud Americans who will continue to serve with Courage, Pride and Commitment to uphold their oath to defend our community and this country. We do not share the same views as the City of Orlando and find their comments inflammatory and in poor taste."

"Unacceptable and highly inappropriate from @citybeautiful (Orlando)," tweeted attorney and Florida state House GOP candidate Vennia Francois. "It's also disrespectful to our Veterans who risked all for our Freedom. July 4th isn't about the fireworks, it's about the world's first Constitutional Republic and the great experiment we call America."

The harsh criticism prompted the city to issue a statement apologizing for its post on Saturday afternoon.

"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," the statement, which clarifies the city takes "pride in celebrating the 4th of July," reads.

However, others defended the city, arguing people who were offended by the initial post were too sensitive—and that it reflected the way many Americans are feeling.

"The city of Orlando posted about the 4th, saying we know you may not see much to celebrate but fireworks are cool and we already bought them. the FOP and a bunch of other thin skinned people lost their minds over it and are still on one over the apology," tweeted attorney Beth Bourdon.