Given the current spectacle that is modern Hollywood, it’s rare that a blockbuster movie has the amount of heart and spirirt that Dunkirk had.
Christopher Nolan’s Dunkirk tells the true story of the Battle of Dunkirk, where thousands of ordinary British citizens sailed their personal boats across the English channel to help evacuate Allied soldiers trapped in northern France.
And while the film is serving as a first-time history lesson for most movie-goers, there are some in the audience who already lived through it.
One of those people is Ken Sturdy, a 97-year-old Battle of Dunkirk veteran who was brought to tears after watching the film.
“I thought I could see my old friends again,” he told Canadian TV station Global News. “A lot of them died in the war. I went in a convoy in the North Atlantic and I lost so many of my buddies.”
At the 1940 battle, Sturdy was a 20-year-old signalman with the United Kingdom Royal Navy, he said in the interview. Sturdy helped coordinate the evacuation of hundreds of thousands of soldiers from the beaches of Dunkirk.
“I had the privilege to see that film tonight,” he said. “I never thought I would see that again. It was just like I was there again.”
And as most 97-year-old veterans of war tend to do, Sturdy said something remarkably insightful about the nature of man following his viewing of the film:
“I cried because it’s never the end,” he said. “The human species, we are so intelligent. We do astonishing things. We can fly to the moon. But we still do stupid things.”
Unfortunately for all of us, Sturdy is right. But fortunately for all of us, there will always be men like Sturdy to fight the good fight.
So thank you for everything, Ken Sturdy.