Date: April 18, 2003
Early in World War II, I made a business trip to Washington, D.C. I found time to visit the Washington Monument. While ascending in the crowded elevator, someone said "I hope this thing doesn't fall." Then another voice declared, "I am not worried because I am living on borrowed time." I noted that the latter was the only one in uniform.
When we reached the observation platform, I looked for the soldier, curious to find out why he was living on "borrowed time." Naturally, I had assumed he was one of our boys, but when I found him standing alone at the guardrail, I noted that he was wearing a maple leaf insignia. Then I realized he was a Canadian soldier. I asked about his unusual statement and he replied simply, "I was at Dunkirk."
I thought I knew all the details of the heroic evacuation of the Army of Great Britain trapped at the French Channel Port of Dunkirk. I found that the most important and inspiring part of the story had never been published or made known to the public in any way. I have no reason to doubt the truthfulness and sincerity of this obviously serious young man. I wish I could convey in written words his absolute certainty that when all hope was gone he and thousands of others prayed for God to save them and He did save them all. Here is his story.
"We found that the Nazi Panzer Tanks had bypassed the Maginot Line and split us from the main French Forces and the Nazi planes had completely destroyed the French Air Force either on the ground or in the air. We were greatly outnumbered and faced annihilation. We didn't march, we ran in the only direction open to us: toward the Channel and toward home. Most threw their weapons and all their possessions other than the clothes on their backs away. They only wanted to stay out of sight of the enemy tanks and planes. When we reached the Channel we could run no more. All day and through the night thousands poured onto the beach. Just as dawn broke, we heard the roar of planes overhead. The enemy planes had found us. Bombs began falling and exploding all around. Someone fell on his knees and began to pray. All the others followed quickly. Thousands of men were on their knees. Almost instantly, a heavy fog covered the Channel and formed a screen overhead hiding us from the bombers. The waters of the Channel were the calmest ever known in history. Then beneath the fog, little boats, tugs, fishing boars, yachts, boats of every size and description came to meet us. We either swam or walked to meet them. There was no atheist nor agnostic among those thousands who left the beaches of Dunkirk."
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