Theatre goers in Calgary, Alberta had the privilege of meeting a real hero during a premier of the movie “Dunkirk”.

97-year-old Ken Sturdy personally experienced the battle that Christopher Nolan depicts in his film. He was only twenty-years-old then; a signal man for the Royal Navy pulling soldiers into small boats as they attempted to evacuate the city.

Sturdy says though he had the privilege of watching “Dunkirk”, he is saddened by it because of what happened there. He could see his old friends in the faces of the actors. Representatives of the terrified young men who Sturdy fought with and rescued. Friends he would lose later in the war during subsequent missions in the North Atlantic.

The real treat was for the other viewers at the cinema. They gathered around Sturdy after the movie to thank him for his service and shed tears together in an embrace. Many recognized what an honor it was for them to shake a hero’s hand.

Sturdy hopes that the movie will have a deeper emotional impact on the people that see it. His words are powerful as they paint an image of the events throughout history reflective of the Battle of Dunkirk.

“Tonight I cried because it’s never the end. We are, as a human species, we are so intelligent with these astonishing things. We can fly to the moon but we still do stupid things.”

We are so thankful for the men and woman who have fought, such as Ken Sturdy, and those who currently fight to keep us free and safe. Are you thankful as well? SHARE this video!