David Yakir Interviews Minter Dial on his documentary, “The Last Ring Home”
The Project to Bring the Ring Home
The Last Ring Home is the story of Lt Minter Dial’s Annapolis Naval Academy ring, that miraculously made its way home 17 years after he was killed as a POW of the Japanese in WWII. The Last Ring Home is a tribute to Lt Dial, the producer’s grandfather, and all members of the Greatest Generation. It is also a journey of self-discovery, having an impact on the filmmaker, his wider family and many other people in its wake. This story, which took over 25 years of research, illustrates the importance of serendipity and the role of good and bad luck in piecing together a personal history of someone who died 70 years ago. The Last Ring Home is to inspire everyone to uncover their own personal history, to keep a foot in their past and the other in the future, and to be thankful for the tremendous present in which we live, thanks to the sacrifices of the those who fought in WWII.
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Traveling forty thousand miles and inspiring love and despair in equal measure, Lt. Minter Dial’s lost Annapolis ring altered the lives of many―not just those who gazed upon its blue stone.
The spellbinding account of one man’s obsession with a family mystery―and the product of decades of research and inquiries―The Last Ring Home explores author Minter Dial’s pursuit of the true story of his namesake, his late grandfather Lt. Minter Dial, USN, a celebrated war hero whose suffering and trauma nearly buried his memory forever.
A prisoner of the Japanese in the Philippines after the fall of Bataan and Corregidor, Lt. Dial discovered the cruelest meaning of the Bushido code. Moments before he was killed, he gave his treasured Naval Academy ring to a friend. In the ensuing chaos, it disappeared.
Armed with a passion for history and a desire to uncover his grandfather’s legacy, Dial’s epic quest for the ring transports him to prisoner-of-war memorials and ex-POW conventions, military and press archives, and the homes of those affected by the Second World War across the world.
Sweeping as far back as the American Civil War, The Last Ring Home combines rigorous research with more than one hundred interviews with experts, survivors, and descendants of the Greatest Generation to tell the powerful story of American prisoners of war in the Pacific.