2014 BK International Convention Waidring, Austria-Day 1

This was the first international convention to ever be held in Europe. It was the International’s 40th anniversary, the European Conference’s 25th anniversary, and the largest attendance of any convention ever held, with about 1600 attendees. Our BKMoIII President and his wife, Susan, along with good friends, Chris Raqui Dobek from ILXI travelled to Walding, Austria to attend the conference. This is his account of their amazing trip.

June 16th

My beautiful wife, Susan and I left St. Louis, MO in the early morning and drove to Chicago, IL to meet up with our travel companions and longtime members of THEM, Chris and Raqui Dobek of IL XI for a flight out of O’Hare, to Brussels, Belgium. The flight left early Monday evening and arrived in Brussels on Tuesday Morning. They are six hours ahead of us.
Raqui, Chris

doug and Raqui flying standby

Day 1

We arrived at Brussels International Airport and were met by Belgium III Blue Knights Guy and Valerie Vesters in the secure area as soon as we came out of the tunnel from the plane. Off to pick up the luggage and get through customs. As we walked up to the cattle line of customs Guy said, “Follow me.” They walked us around everybody through a glass door and with a quick swipe of a card we were behind the customs officers where Guy took our passports and came back with them stamped. WOW, that was fast.

Gyel, valerie, guy
It took both of their cars to get us and all our luggage from the airport to Guy and Valerie’s beautiful home in the village of Hasselt. They loaned us an Audi A3 for our entire stay in Europe (WOW!) Guy had to work that day reuniting a family. He escorts deportees from Belgium back to their country of origin. Once at the house we did a chill day to try and stave off the jetlag. When we arrived the postman was making his rounds, which impressed Susan and Raqui enough to get a photo.

susan, postman, racqui

We found Guy’s beer frig and hit the Ename. After a half dozen or so I realized that I would never be the same when it came to drinking beer. This Belgian Beer is good stuff.
ename beer

Valerie, ever the gracious hostess made a run to the market and picked up a traditional lunch of bread, lunch meat, sausages, cheeses, fruit and more Ename. For dinner she made two large pots of mussels, and poached salmon. Chris and I tore those mussels up, a pot for me and a pot for him.

When we couldn’t hold our eyes open anymore it was time to hit the sack.

Continue reading Day 2.

Stepping Up

Items donated to support police and delivered to O'Fallon Missouri Police Dept.

Just when you thought that everyone hates police, something like this happens. The attached picture shows the donations from citizens for the officers that will be on the front lines during the upcoming civil disturbances. This is just what came in this weekend. Remember we usually aren’t dealing with the good people of the world unless they are victims.

Thoughts on Belgium Riots by Belgium Blue Knight

From our President, Doug Casteel:

The below is from a Blue Knight friend of mine in Belgium. They are currently experiencing riots and one of his colleagues (what they call brother officers) wrote this. The author Alain Vanbeneden said these are just the words that were in his head, that he couldn’t get out so he expressed them in writing. I thought they were quite fitting.

belgium riots

You came to our town, saying it was about claiming your rights
We only saw you bringing violence, destruction and chaos …

You were hundreds and you fought us
We were outnumbered and many of us got wounded
But for each of us falling, another took his place on the line …

You were hundreds and thought it was you against us
But it was WE against your rage …

You were hundreds and brought hatred, stones, slingshots, flares, whatever
We didn’t only have our shields, sticks and teargas: we have more … WE ARE more …

You were hundreds

We are a brotherhood, each of us caring for the other
We are a family sharing our pains and joys
We won’t let one of us fall but will stand side by side because that’s what we are

You were hundreds

That’s why you failed