Float Designer Meant No Harm
NORFOLK - The man whose parade float has been drawing much discussion from around the nation says he meant no disrespect. The float built on the back of a flat-bed pickup for the Norfolk Odd Fellows annual 4th of July parade, depicts a cartoon-like figure in front of what looks to be an outhouse with the words “Obama Presidential Library” on the outside. Norfolk-area farmer Dale Remmich says he’s sorry for the misunderstanding but that his float was meant to be political satire and that the caricature represents himself, not the President. Remmich says the satire was precipitated by the Department of Veterans Affairs scandal coupled with the release of five Guantanamo Bay prisoners in exchange for what he calls as “deserter.” The City of Norfolk does not sponsor the parade, however, Mayor Sue Fuchtman said she’s disappointed that the event has caused such controversy. "We recognize and respect our citizens' differing political beliefs and their rights to express them freely, however, we are disapponted that the occasion of this family-friendly celebration of America's birth was used in a way that disparaged the office of the President," Fuchtman said. "As an open and inclusive city, we have a responsibility to foster an environment of free exchange but also one of civility, courtesy, and decency."