Oak Creek Parade Float Honoring 9/11 Firefighters Draws Controversy
An Oak Creek firefighter is reviving the parade entry for the 10th anniversary of Sept. 11, but co-workers aren't helping because he quit the union.
What started in Oak Creek as a stirring tribute to firefighters killed in the aftermath of the 9/11 terrorist attacks is now a controversy over union rights.
The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel reports today that Oak Creek fire Lt. Matt Gorniak is fighting the Racine firefighters union over his plans to enter a float in tribute of 9/11 firefighters in Racine's Fourth of July parade.
The Racine firefighters union is not supporting Gorniak because he withdrew from his firefighter's union in support of Gov. Scott Walker's successful effort to revoke collective-bargaining rights from most of Wisconsin's public employees.
The float is the same one that was used back in 2002 for a Milwaukee County parade and depicts three firefighters raising an American flag in the aftermath of the terrorist attack in New York City. The float has been in storage since, but Gorniak - along with members of his church's youth group - decided to revive it with the nearing of 9/11's ten-year anniversary.
Gorniak is still planning to march in the Racine parade on July 4 and is inviting any firefighters - union or non-union - to walk with him.