Deceased Toronto police constable Andrew Hong was honoured during a day-long funeral ceremony held on Sept. 21.
Thousands were in attendance at the Toronto Congress Centre (TCC) at 12:10 p.m., where Hong’s funeral was held. It was closed to the public but viewable by others live-streamed on the internet.
People lined up over different Highway 407 overpasses along the route to watch the hearse pass by on its way to the TCC from the funeral home.
'Heart of Gold'Ford mentioned how Hong lit up the room with his personality. “Andrew was made of steel on the outside but had a heart of gold on the inside,” Ford said in a speech at the funeral.
“To do these jobs, to commit your life protecting others is the highest calling,” Ford continued. “The sacrifices these families make are more than most of us could ever know, and sometimes these heroes make the ultimate sacrifice as Andrew did.”
Hong was 48 years old and a 22-year veteran with the Toronto Police.
Family Reflects on the TragedyMultiple speakers at the funeral mentioned how Hong’s nickname was “the Honger” and how he was such a big, gentle, and friendly person. He was remembered for his hugs and sense of humour.
His wife said he loved food, video games, fishing, motorcycles and airplanes. It would have been their 21st wedding anniversary on Sept. 22. She said he loved being on the motorcycle unit with traffic services and getting to be a trainer. “I can't believe they pay me to ride a motorcycle,” he would tell his wife after he came home from work.
Police Officer's OathToronto Police Chief James Ramer said the attack on Hong was an attack on the entire police community.
“As police officers, we have all taken this same oath to answer the call, to put the safety of others before our own,” he said.
“The circumstances of Andrew’s death illustrate that to do so, in our profession, can come at a terrible cost. And indeed today, we also pay tribute to the other innocent victims of this senseless tragedy.”
During the ceremony, the Korean traditional folk song “My Beloved One,” which speaks to having courage in the face of hardship, was performed by the Korean Traditional Music Association of Canada at the funeral.