A planned military flyover in New York to mark the anniversary of September 11 has been slammed as “tone-deaf” and the “worst idea ever” before being quickly cancelled.
New York City emergency management announced the flyover on Thursday evening, with a short notice message saying an F-18 jet would fly over the Hudson River and towards the Verrazzano-Narrows Bridge at 3:30pm.
However it was met with swift backlash given the nature of the terror attack, that saw almost 3000 people die after two planes crashed into the World Trade Centre twin towers in 2001.
“Are you out of your mind? Cancel this immediately,” Staten Island Representative Max Rose demanded on Twitter.
Social media user Arlene Kaplan wrote “What? CANCEL THIS! This is insane and cruel to those of us who still suffer from PTSD when we hear a low-flying plane no matter where we are, yet alone flying down the Hudson River past the WTC!”
Victoria Brownworth said “This is the worst idea ever. Did you ask anyone who was in NYC on 9/11 — because every last one of them would tell you.”
RELATED: Photos show true horror of 9/11
New York Mayor Bill de Blasio’s office told media he “wasn’t aware of the flyover.”
“Frankly it’s inappropriate,” a spokesman told the paper.
The Department of Defence later cancelled it after a request from City Hall, a spokesman told the New York Times.
However the initial alert continued to spark a wave of backlash, with Twitter’s own vice president of global communications, Brandon Borrman, calling it a “really bad idea, verging on completely tasteless.”
“We all remember not only the original hijacked planes but also the fighter jets on 09/11. This is literally like tearing open a closed scar until it bleeds again just so you can throw some salt on it,” @nycinoc said.
Michael Henry called it a “crappy idea,” writing, “Let’s re-create the gut punching memory of a low-flying plane over the harbour.”
“Could you get any more tone deaf?” @Qasharah asked. “PTSD is real, and this will definitely trigger some people.”
“Sure. Let’s terrorise New Yorkers on the anniversary of 9/11,” Camille Duran wrote.
The navy did not immediately respond to messages about the flyover.
TRUMP AND BIDEN BOTH VISIT PENNSYLVANIA
Democratic contender Joe Biden appeared in New York City for the annual event honouring the almost 3,000 people who died in the attacks on the World Trade Center.
He then travelled to Shanksville, Pennsylvania, where an airliner crashed after the passengers tried to wrest control of the plane from the al-Qaeda hijackers.
Biden did not speak at the ground zero ceremony in Manhattan, an event traditionally reserved for families of the victims, who this year have prerecorded their contributions.
Donald Trump was absent from the memorial in his native New York, but was represented by Vice President Mike Pence.
Mr Trump instead appeared in Shanksville, Pennsylvania where he hailed those on board flight 93 who wrestled control from hijackers but lost their lives.
He also praised those who worked to find survivors at ground zero and worked to analyse the black box of the plane.
TEMPORARY RESPITE FROM LEADERSHIP RACE
Robert Shapiro, a political scientist at Columbia University, said ahead of the event it was unlikely to feature any political showmanship.
The 9/11 ceremonies are traditionally “free of rhetoric, dedicated to paying tribute to victims” of the attacks, he said.
“There will be a temporary silencing of the more vitriolic rhetoric they are using against each other,” Shapiro said.
The choice of both candidates to show up in Pennsylvania, an important state to win in the presidential election, illustrates the “obvious calculations” their advisers have made.
Long a Democratic stronghold and Biden’s home state, Pennsylvania swung narrowly to Trump in the 2016 election, helping him secure his surprise victory over Democrat Hillary Clinton.
Polls show Trump and Biden nearly even in Pennsylvania, and Democrats hope to win the state back in the November 3 vote.
But if the sombre commemorations mark a “truce,” it is likely to be a short-lived one, as was the case in 2016.
Clinton took part in the New York memorial but left the event early because she was feeling ill. Her doctor later revealed he had diagnosed her two days earlier with pneumonia, which she had kept secret.
Trump leapt on the incident and for weeks mercilessly mocked his rival’s health.
– With wires and the New York Post.