Take a moment and give thanks and remembrance to those young men who, 97 years ago, found the decency to defy orders and lay down their arms for just one day. It started in many sectors when German soldiers placed Christmas trees upon the parapet of their trench, or began singing Christmas Carols. At first the Belgian, French, and English soldiers thought it to be a trick, yet some walked out into the open in No Man’s Land. They’d exchange cigarettes and chocolates, and even play soccer in some areas. But it was amazing, the men who’d been killing each other just a few hours ago were now close friends, bonded together by their experiences.  One day to live in peace and come face to face with the man across the wire. One day to celebrate life and birth in it’s many forms. They defied orders to celebrate this holiday in the midst of the greatest horror ever seen up to that time. Yet they set aside the hate and killing and saw each other as men instead of the dreaded Hun, or the Frog Frenchmen, or the Tommy. They were a special group that did something we can’t even imagine today. Unfortunately their example was not followed in the subsequent years and it is unlikely we shall ever see the likes of such an event again. Maybe we’ve lost a piece of our humanity in the intervening years, or maybe it was just a fluke, a one time thing in the modern era. Imagine yourself in their situation, it’s winter, you’re in the bottom of a trench, and you’ve been taught to hate and kill the man across the wire from you. Then Christmas comes around, the enemy begins to sing Christmas Carols, what would you do? Would you shoot them? Or would you lay down your weapons for one day and celebrate this holiday with them? Think long and hard about it, you may find something out about yourself you didn’t know.

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