Organizers for the Seafair Torchlight Parade in Seattle have had a change of heart after denying the parents of the “Fallen Hero Banner Project” a chance to participate for being too “somber.”
The Fallen Hero Banner Project honors Washington men and women who have died fighting for their country, but parade organizers initially felt it “wasn’t the right fit” for the parade when the group applied in March, a local NBC affiliate reported.
“The banner images are a somber and sobering reminder to all of us here at home of what has been sacrificed,” organizers told the group. “And to that point, the parade selection committee felt that the Fallen Hero Banner Project was not the right fit for the Torchlight Parade. Seafair and the Torchlight Parade celebrate summer, and our mission is to entertain spectators with high energy, vibrant colors and upbeat music.”
The rejection created a wave of controversy in the military community, and now organizers have decided to invite the parents to walk with their board of directors in the parade on July 26.
Members of the group said they will “accept the invitation and will represent proudly,” the station reported.
“Our military is a huge part of this country and I believe that everyone could take five or ten minutes out of their day to honor those who have given the ultimate sacrifice, then get on with the fun and festivities,” said the project’s founder, Kim Cole, who lost her son in Iraq in 2007.