Red Deer – At 7 p.m., Alberta time, Feb. 25, the United We Roll! convoy rolled into Red Deer, pulling into Gort’s Truck Wash, the same place they left on Feb. 14.
After thousands of kilometres, 11 days, a blizzard that held them up with a closed road at Winnipeg, and a very noisy two days on Parliament Hill, they were greeted with plenty of people standing and waving, horns honking and vehicles with their blinkers on.
As they were in the final stretch, many of the participants, in the numerous live feeds on Facebook, spoke of how they felt they united the country.
“Next time we do this in July,” said Jay Riedel, of Estevan, on his live Facebook feed as he got out of the truck into -25 C weather.
“I thought I was going to go home, but now, I can’t. I can’t go home,” he said of the choice of remaining with the convoy instead of splitting off at Virden with the rest of the Saskatchewan contingent.
“Absolutely blown away. I don’t even know what to say. Absolute emotion,” he said as the convoy participants hugged each other and shed their share of tears. The strains of Paul Brant singing C.J. McCall’s song, Convoy, played in the background.
“Unbelievable, eh?” said Glen Carritt, the Innisfail councillor and owner of OP Fire & Safety. He led the convoy, and paid for much of its expenses as he waited for funds from Go Fund Me campaign to be released.
He said it was “absolutely successful.”
“The story here is all the people we united in Canada. Everywhere we went, Canadians do love each other. That’s the biggest story right here.”
And as they came in from the cold, the song played on in the background “… we crashed the gate, doing 98, I says let them truckers roll, 10-4.”