Yesterday Sunday evening, the city of the Toronto and the rest of the country gathered together to remember the lives that were lost during the van attack last Monday near the area of Yonge and Finch. Ten people lost their lives and 16 others were left injured. Yesterday’s #TorontoStrong vigil proved to the rest of the world how great of a city Toronto is.
Among those who were at the vigil were the top leaders from all levels of the government including Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Governor-General Julie Payette, Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne, and Toronto Mayor, John Tory. They were part of the people who joined the crowd and attended the procession from Olive Square to Mel Lastman Square.
The vigil itself was led by the community of Willowdale, the area where the incident occurred; it was co-organized by the City of Toronto and community groups, Faith in the City and the Toronto Area Interfaith Council. A Rabbi, Christian clergy, an Imam, and a Buddhist monk were among the speakers who addressed the crowd with messages of support and strength during the difficult times. As Rabbi Barcuh Frydman-Kohl of the Beth Tzedec Congregation said, “In Toronto, in Ontario, in Canada, we don’t run away— we run to help others.” The event provided a sense of healing and solidarity and in a way brought the city together.
Also, the speakers of the vigil commended the courage and strength of the first-aid responders on their work on the day of the incident which resulted to the arrest of the alleged suspect.
The event was accompanied by music and performances from the drums of a band made up of a number of Indigenous groups, the Red Spirit Singers, and the choirs from nearby schools in the community.
The event reflected that Toronto was united and even stronger despite the tragic attack as United Church minister, Rev. Alexa Gilmour said, “you and I have come here tonight to tell [the families of those who were killed] that they do not have to walk [in grief] alone."
Harvey Shuter is among the early comers at the #torontostrong vigil. He is here with his son and grandson. All live in the area. “You never think it’s going to happen in your neighourhood. So when it happens right here, it’s just totally shocking.” pic.twitter.com/7vLpTgwyLn— Rachel Mendleson (@rachelmendleson) April 29, 2018
By Mary Angeline Joven