Toronto saluted the troops in Afghanistan at the CNE
Organized by Toronto Sun columnist Joe Warmington, a very close friend of fellow columnist and Estonian Central Council Medal of Merit recipient the late Bob MacDonald, the rally was held at the CNE’s military display.
Because it fell on an overcast day and a workday attendance was limited. The purpose was that the rally fall on a Friday, signified as the day of support when people are asked to wear red. Thus the rally was a sea of red.
Present as guest speakers were Chairman of the CNE Knox Henry, Toronto Police Chief Bill Blair, former Toronto Mayor Mel Lastman, CBC Hockey Night in Canada commentator Don Cherry, Minister of Defence Peter MacKay and Canadian Forces Chief of Staff Rick Hillier, along with two soldiers who had been wounded, who did not speak at the event.
One of the issues of contention in Toronto is whether emergency vehicles be allowed to have yellow ribbons. Ambulances and fire vehicles have the yellow ribbons while police cars do not. Police Chief Blair explained that even though he has one on his personal auto and that he came to the rally, he should not show partisanship on police cars. Other police forces have put on yellow ribbons.
Despite the poor attendance that day over 28,000 people had signed their support on the side of the Leopard tank, in the one week of the exhibition.