The 1914 Christmas Truce by whatever name you chose to use – Weihnachtsfrieden; Trêve de Noël; or Kerstbestand) was a series of widespread unofficial ceasefires along the Western Front of the First World War around Christmas 1914.

In the week leading up to Christmas Day, French, German and British soldiers crossed trenches to exchange seasonal greetings and talk. In some areas, men from both sides ventured into no man’s land on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day to mingle and exchange food and souvenirs. There were joint burial ceremonies and prisoner swaps, while several meetings ended in carol-singing. Men played games of football with one another, creating one of the most memorable images of the truce.  Generals panicked on both sides. How could enemy soldiers embrace on Christmas and continue the slaughter the day after? Truces were prohibited in the ensuing years and officers were ordered to shoot well-wishers.

It became the single most dangerous moment in the war for the men who started it.

The Christmas truces were particularly significant due to the number of men involved and the level of their participation—even in quiet sectors, dozens of men openly congregating in daylight was remarkable—and are often seen as a symbolic moment of peace and humanity amidst one of the most violent conflicts of human history.

 

And in despair I bowed my head:

“There is no peace on earth,” I said,

“For hate is strong, and mocks the song

Of peace on earth, goodwill to men.”

~~~

Then pealed the bells more loud and deep:

“God is not dead, nor doth he sleep;

The wrong shall fail, the right prevail,

With peace on earth, goodwill to men.”

However you decide to spend the day and Christmas Eve, I wish you love, peace, and every good thing. May God’s grace attend you in the spirit of the season and remain always.

Thank you for visiting the blog and for participating in the varied free-wheeling discussions.

32 COMMENTS

    • The well-wishers were, after all, distant cousins ultimately sprung from the same branch on the tree of humanity. They should have gone home and shot the men who fomented the conflict in the first place. And now, a little over a hundred years later, another great kin-slaying, engineered by men (and women — what wonderful progress in just a century!) who most definitely, by their own reckoning, are not kin.

      • The Russian Army did go home and kill the Czar. Yes, I understand that they were Marxists and that the Russian people did simply exchange brutal rulers and oppressors. There is a lesson in all that and a cautionary note. It’s also a depressing commentary on the nature of humanity.

        It’s possible for us to lift ourselves above it all but we seem to be unable to do it for long. Witness the number of Internet “spies” that the governments of men field who visit conservative blogs to document what free people write for ‘future use’.

        For now, those of us with warm homes, enough to eat and the love of others can be thankful for what we have. And offer peace on Earth to our fellow travelers. Life is short, peace seems fleeting.

  1. It was a Silent Night…

    Love that story, shows the goodness that can be found in men, proving that most of us aren’t knuckleheads.

    When the guests head home this evening after a bit of time together having a small Christmas Eve Gathering at our place, I’ll put on John Berry’s “O Holy Night”…always gets misty when he hits THAT note. In the minds eye one can sense the grandeur of the moment Christ was born. Stirs the soul.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FIjnEP0lvos

    Merry Christmas everyone. Enjoy the JOY!

  2. Merry Christmas eve. It’s bittersweet really. Eighteen years to the day gone by since I left a piece of my body and soul in Phantom Fury. To all of my brothers that paid the ultimate sacrifice in that horrible place I say… thank you and God I miss you. You are my hero’s. Silent Warriors that were cut from a different cloth. Above all else thank you Jesus for being born knowing that you were going to pay the ultimate sacrifice for all of us sinners…well maybe not the liberals. All joking aside I wish you all a Merry Christmas. LL thank you for upholding our 1st amendment rights. Something that most sites lack the gumption or sack for! Keep on slaying it!

    S/F

  3. Then pealed the bells more loud and deep:

    “God is not dead, nor doth he sleep;

    The wrong shall fail, the right prevail,

    With peace on earth, goodwill to men.”

    Right on.

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