Merry Christmas!

I'll be out-of-town and with family all weekend, so I probably won't blog again 'til next Tuesday. So, I leave you with this, which was printed on a holiday card I got from a friend at work:

The Christmas Truce

World War I combatants, during the 1914 holiday season, entrenched along the 500 mile front stretching from the Belgium coast to the Swiss border, overcame their conditioning to hate, loathe and kill one another, dropped their weapons, entered no-man's land between their respective lines and, in spite of commanding officers' threats to charge those who would fraternize with the enemy with treason and send them to the firing squad, extended the hand of peace and goodwill.

Mortal enemies became friends for a time. They played soccer, decorated Christmas trees, exchanged gifts, sang carols in their respective languages and, before being forced back behind the front lines by their officers, promised that when the shooting started again that they would fire high, harmlessly into the air. This spontaneous effort of the lower ranks to create peace may have blossomed if it were not for the interference of their politicians and generals.

The Christmas Truce remains a moving manifestation of the adsurdities of war.

"I like to think that people in the long run are going to do more to promote peace than our governments. Indeed, I think that the people want peace so much that one of these days governments had better get out of the way and let them have it." ~Dwight D. Eisenhower

Merry Christmas! Peace and goodwill to all!


Caroline Bender said...

Merry Christmas and Happy New year from our Blog to yours! Pray for Peace in 2007.

Diana said...

Merry Christmas!!

Karen said...

Merry Christmas and have a Happy New Year too.

Ari said...

Hope you have a wonderful time!

Yeah, him. said...

I remember that from World History 2 in college. I find it amazing that such a unique story doesn't pop up in earlier classes - you'd think just the "bizarre" human nature of events would be more common knowledge. Then again, after that first Christmas, things got really ugly in Europe.

Oh well. Merry Christmas to you!!!

Blogarita said...

Merry Christmas to you, too, Violet!

Dave Morris said...

It's a battlefield... so where'd they get the decorations for the trees? The soccer ball? Gifts?

I am sorry. I can't believe that instead of soaking in the warm fuzzy nature of the story, my mind went right to those questions. Perhaps I am destined to always be a skeptical bastard.

Merry Christmas baby. Thanks for the greatest Christmas gift ever, your love.