Bristol Mayor Art Ward has reversed his decision and will now allow firefighters to wear pink shirts in support of breast cancer awareness.
"I find it unfortunate that this serious health concern has been made into such a controversial and emotional [issue] for the city of Bristol," Ward said. "I reflected on this repeatedly, and I have decided that I will not allow this controversy to become more important than the cause."
Ward went on to say that breast cancer has touched a lot of people in one way or another.
"Not a day goes by that I don't think about my mom who passed away from this terrible disease more than 25 years ago, losing not only her breast, but her entire arm."
Ward said he listened to comments during the last few days and decided that he will allow firefighters to wear pink breast cancer awareness T-shirts for the remaining Thursdays in October.
He said he will also challenge the firefighters to join him in expanding the original fundraising efforts to include all residents of Bristol.
"I'm opening all five fire stations on Sunday, Oct. 28 from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m., so the public can buy pink T-shirts in support of the efforts towards breast cancer awareness."
Ward said he would be first in line to buy a shirt and is encouraging all residents of Bristol to join him in supporting the cause.
Ward said his original stance banning the shirt was procedural, claiming it would cause problems when other city departments wanted to change their uniforms to support a cause.
The firefighters argued it was purely political between Ward and a union that hasn't always seen eye to eye.
"That was our stance," said Sean Lennon. "We commend Mayor Ward for coming here and righting the ship."
Since the tussle became public, the union said the support has been overwhelming and so far they've sold more than 500 shirts at $20 a piece.
All of the money will go to the Susan G. Komen Connecticut Chapter.
October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
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