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Messages from “Dunkirk”

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The superb new movie “Dunkirk” conveys important messages about a fateful episode of World War II.

In May, 1940, the rapid Nazi advance through France trapped a huge British army on the coast, offering easy targets for Luftwaffe bombers. The Royal Navy couldn’t rescue the troops from the beaches, so the government rallied civilian craft-fishing boats, ferries, and pleasure cruisers. Some 650 “little ships” helped take more than 300,000 troops safely home. This miraculous evacuation exemplified “The Dunkirk Spirit,” where private initiative saves the nation in a crisis.

Watching this thrilling movie, American citizens should find our “Dunkirk Spirit” to help our country overcome present dangers. We should also recall the example of the new Prime Minister in 1940, who inspired his countryman after Dunkirk by pledging “we shall never surrender.” Churchill’s words remind us that our politics need not remain tawdry and petty, and can rise once again to grandeur and nobility.

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