Many Christmas carols speak about peace on earth, but rarely does it ever happen. One notable exception was the Christmas truce of 1914.
A Call for Peace
It started with a declaration by Pope Benedict XV that a temporary cease fire should be called in celebration of Christmas.
The declaration was made about two and half weeks before Christmas. No nation, however, made an official holiday truce.
On Christmas Eve, in different locations around the Western Front, Allied and German soldiers began singing Christmas carols.
The following morning, some Germans left the safety of their trenches and ventured across No Man’s Land shouting Christmas greetings. The Allies were at first nervous, but soon they too emerged from their trenches.
That day, the enemies engaged in conversation, joked, exchanged small gifts, sang together and buried their dead. There is also one documented case of a soccer game.
So remarkable was the Christmas truce, it made headlines.
Unfortunately, the event was never repeated. And even in 1914, it didn’t last long. In most locations, the truce lasted only until Dec. 26, but in some places, it lasted until New Year’s.
Hostilities began again, sometimes with decorum and firing warning shots in the air. And within a short time, men began dying again on the Western Front, including many of the men who participated in the Christmas Truce.
Does the Christmas Truce give you hope that warring nations can find common ground? Leave a comment below.
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