America, as a nation, has had a difficult time coming to terms with what happened on September 11th, 2001. In a coordinated attack, three planes were hijacked and driven into key structures leaving 2,996 people dead and countless other injured. The rest of us, who simply watched it all happen from afar, simply had to watch while it felt like the world fell apart. How we’ve chosen to cope with that has been a bit strange, from jokes about “never forgetting” to insane conspiracy theories.
Time heals all wounds, though, and sure, while 9/11 conspiracy theories and the “never forget” jokes have further softened the blow of what was one of the worst things that most of us had to witness in our lives, happening live on television, it’s not quite something that should be commemorated in a soda endcap at a Walmart.
Yet, here we are, living in a post-9/11 world, fifteen years later and a Florida Walmart has made a soda display of a flag with the twin towers, a sign hanging from above claiming “We Will Never Forget.” That sign is emblazoned with both the Coca-Cola and Walmart logos and… What? The American flag is carefully crafted from stripes of red and white, by way of Coke and Diet Coke sleeves, with the blue coming by way of what looks to be some sort of blue soda box (the logo isn’t clear) mixed with those Diet Coke sleeves. Then, standing proudly in front of that flag are two mighty towers, built from Coke Zero cases.
The worst part is that someone spent hours and hours of their life on this, then put that “never forget” sign above and was really proud of it. Someone in Florida went home from work, kicked back after a hard day’s work and was like, “You know what, I just did my country proud,” while the rest of us are sitting here, confused. While none of us have particularly high expectations for Walmart to be classy, this is just an entirely different level.