It was a Saturday and raining at the 2016 Stampede, and it was early in my Barn Tour shift for Ag Ambassadors. I met a family (father and son) of Dairy Farmers from Belgium, and they stood out—both were very tall, over 6 feet 3 inches. Having determined they were farmers on a visit, and as is my usual protocol, I invited them to sit down, have a bite to eat and a drink of their choice at the International Room.
They were wet and cold, so acceptance came easy to them.
I did not say another word. I couldn’t, as the tears were coming down my face.
As we walked, I asked if this was their first time in Canada. The son replied, “No, this is the second time I have been on Canadian soil.” I asked quickly, “Oh great, when was your first time here?”
He replied, “I have walked among the dead in the Canadian War Cemetery in Belgium where the fallen Canadian soldiers are buried. That was my first time on Canadian soil; you earned it.”
I did not say another word. I couldn’t, as the tears were coming down my face. We got up to the International Room and I shook their hands very firmly. They knew I had been emotional and proud. I told them safe travels and to please return again to the Stampede and Canada.