The controversy that has erupted over a 9/11 tribute performance by a group of high school cheerleaders proves that things really are bigger in Texas.
A video of the routine was posted on Facebook on Friday, the 14th anniversary of the deadliest terrorist attack in U.S. history, and has been viewed nearly 23 million times.
And while the intent of the performance is a respectful commemoration of that fateful day, the reaction has been anything but, with some on social media calling the performance “cringe-worthy.”
The routine begins with cheerleaders from Lumberton High School standing with their heads bowed as the tragic events of 9/11 echo from the sound system, to include words from former President George W. Bush. The narration fades out as country music artist Lee Greenwood’s “God Bless the USA” begins to play and the cheerleaders launch into their routine.
Cheerleaders 9/11 routine. So good, it’ll make you cry.
Posted by Crystalynn Petoskey on Friday, September 11, 2015
The performance has been a staple at Lumberton since 2002, according to BuzzFeed, but it wasn’t until the video was posted on social media that it provoked controversy.
“We do this because we believe it is very important to honor and remember the first responders, those who gave their lives, and those who still mourn the hole left by lost loved ones,” the cheerleading squad’s coach, Lauren Sheffield, told BuzzFeed.
The reaction on social media shows that 14 years later, America is a more polarized country. But most were supportive of the cheerleaders. Here’s a sampling of responses from Twitter:
Omg, that 9/11 cheerleader video has to be the most cringeworthy thing I’ve seen in a long time. Get a clue.
— Jess Desserts (@thejessdesserts) September 13, 2015
Just watched part of a video in which high school cheerleaders did a “tribute to 9/11.” America, where tasteless tat passes for homage.
— Elaine Liner (@LinerElaine) September 12, 2015
@Cosmopolitan What’s the big deal? I don’t see anything wrong with it.
— Pharlap (@pharlap9) September 14, 2015
Lumberton cheerleaders tribute to 9/11 was the best one honestly. The performance was amazing ???
— Lil Cee. ❤ (@ThisGirlChelsea) September 14, 2015
Lumberton TX HS Cheerleaders tribute to 9/11 will bring a tear to your eye. https://t.co/tmtcLUQkK7
— Chris Hollerback (@TCFS_guy) September 13, 2015
just watched the Lumberton cheerleaders tribute to 9/11…I’m speechless!
— tally (@Ataliagarcia5) September 13, 2015
The lumberton cheerleaders 9/11 tribute was amazing
— Lt.Dan (@DanielLuke98) September 12, 2015
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