Dunkirk, site of the 1940 heroic all-hands-on-deck evacuation of troops forced into the sea by an advancing German army, was the subject of the 2017 Christopher Nolan film of the same name. Over the course of nine days in May, 330,000 French, British, Belgian and Dutch soldiers were evacuated. Accompanying one of them was a devoted dog.

The history of humanity is held in the fragile palm of our stories. When they are lost, a part of us leaves with them. Perhaps that is why, even as a young child, I treasured the stories my father told us.

Although a born raconteur, he was oddly reticent to discuss the most dramatic story of his life: his role in WWII. My older brother and sister were on the cusp of adolescence and I was still engrossed in childhood, so we were too young to understand the brutality of war. Thus, intrigued and naive, we cajoled him mercilessly to tell us about his life…

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