Post-September 11, George W. Bush encouraged Americans to return to normalcy. Go shopping, go to restaurants, don’t be afraid. When the dust settled and it became clear that our enemy was al Qaeda, the joke became, “don’t let the terrorists win!” Not in the mood to grab a beer? “Don’t let the terrorist win!” And so on.

When I read this article, “don’t let the terrorists win!” seemed an appropriate response.

The Washington Post reported:

Busch Gardens — which operates parks in Williamsburg, Va., and Tampa, Fla. — said in a statement that it has stopped using the props during Howl-O-Scream, an event that is already underway at the Virginia park.

“Many of the scenes depicted at Busch Gardens’ Howl-O-Scream are graphic in nature, but they are fictional and are not intended to provide commentary on current world events,” Busch Gardens Williamsburg communications manager Kevin Crossett said in a statement. “The props in this year’s event were designed and purchased several months ago.

“In light of recent events, some of these props have the unintended consequence of appearing insensitive and are being removed. Busch Gardens apologizes for any offense they may have caused.”

Howl-O-Scream is scheduled to open in Florida later this month, according to the park’s Web site.

But it looks like this was all the fault of the Virginia Gazette who posted pics of the exhibit on their front page:

In a report in Saturday’s Virginia Gazette, a front-page photo showed a group of five severed heads that was part of the Cut Throat Cove attraction in the park’s fall makeover for Halloween. The display was not made to look realistic.

The first of a handful of complaints was sent to the paper late Saturday night, about three hours after media outlets began reporting that the terrorist group Islamic State had posted a new video claiming to have beheaded British aid worker David Haines. Another four or five were sent Sunday, all to an email account for anonymous Last Word comment section.

Four or five people complained, the park capitulated, et voila, the terrorists win. A sad day indeed.

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H/T @RedSteeze

[Featured Image originally posted to Flickr as Hollow Ferengi and Borg under Creative Commons 2.0]