Christmas Truce

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Mike Paczesny | The Rundown Livechristmas-trucedaily_express_4_4_09

Tis the season for feel-good stories, and inspiration. Whether or not you celebrate this season, an interesting thing took place almost 100 years ago during WW1.

The Christmas truce was a series of unofficial ceasefires that took place along the Western Front around Christmas 1914, during World War I.

In the week leading up to Christmas, German and British soldiers began to exchange seasonal greetings and songs between their trenches, to the point that individuals would walk across to talk to their opposite numbers bearing gifts.

On Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, many soldiers from both sides, French units included,  ventured into “no man’s land“, where they mingled, exchanging food and souvenirs. As well as joint burial ceremonies, several meetings ended in carol-singing. Troops from both sides were also friendly enough to play games with one another.

Just knowing this occurred is both alarming and satisfying. Knowing that these men chose to lay down their weapons in honor of tradition, only to later pick them up to destroy each other once again.

It really is the greatest example of man, kind and compassionate, yet, brutal and savage.