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The Christmas Truce

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posted on Dec, 18 2010 @ 01:41 PM
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This has always been one of the most touching in inspiring stories for me. Just trying to imagine it seems like a dream. The fact that it is actually true makes one wonder why it can't happen again. I know probably most of you are aware of the story, but I thought I would drag it out once again just as a reminder for when men where men and actually recognized their brothers.The Christmas Truce.



It was December 25, 1914, only 5 months into World War I. German, British, and French soldiers, already sick and tired of the senseless killing, disobeyed their superiors and fraternized with "the enemy" along two-thirds of the Western Front (a crime punishable by death in times of war). German troops held Christmas trees up out of the trenches with signs, "Merry Christmas." "You no shoot, we no shoot." Thousands of troops streamed across a no-man's land strewn with rotting corpses. They sang Christmas carols, exchanged photographs of loved ones back home, shared rations, played football, even roasted some pigs. Soldiers embraced men they had been trying to kill a few short hours before. They agreed to warn each other if the top brass forced them to fire their weapons, and to aim high.


Read the rest of the story here

Now what you might not know, was a song was written about that day.




This song is based on a true story from the front lines of World War I that I've heard many times. Ian Calhoun, a Scot, was the commanding officer of the British forces involved in the story. He was subsequently court-martialed for 'consorting with the enemy' and sentenced to death. Only George V spared him from that fate. -- John McCutcheon


These are the lyrics to the song:

"My name is Francis Toliver, I come from Liverpool.
Two years ago the war was waiting for me after school.
To Belgium and to Flanders, to Germany to here,
I fought for King and country I love dear.

'Twas Christmas in the trenches, where the frost so bitter hung.
The frozen fields of France were still, no Christmas song was sung.
Our families back in England were toasting us that day,
Their brave and glorious lads so far away.

I was lying with my messmate on the cold and rocky ground,
When across the lines of battle came a most peculiar sound.
Says I, "Now listen up, me boys!" each soldier strained to hear,
As one young German voice sang out so clear.

"He's singing bloody well, you know!" my partner says to me.
Soon, one by one, each German voice joined in harmony.
The cannons rested silent, the gas clouds rolled no more,
As Christmas brought us respite from the war.

As soon as they were finished and a reverent pause was spent,
"God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen" struck up some lads from Kent.
The next they sang was "Stille Nacht," "'Tis 'Silent Night,'" says I,
And in two tongues one song filled up that sky.

"There's someone coming towards us!" the front line sentry cried.
All sights were fixed on one lone figure trudging from their side.
His truce flag, like a Christmas star, shone on that plain so bright,
As he bravely strode unarmed into the night.

Then one by one on either side walked into No Man's Land,
With neither gun nor bayonet we met there hand to hand.
We shared some secret brandy and wished each other well,
And in a flare lit soccer game we gave 'em hell.

We traded chocolates, cigarettes, and photographs from home.
These sons and fathers far away from families of their own.
Young Sanders played his squeezebox and they had a violin,
This curious and unlikely band of men.

Soon daylight stole upon us and France was France once more.
With sad farewells we each began to settle back to war.
But the question haunted every heart that lived that wondrous night:
"Whose family have I fixed within my sights?"

'Twas Christmas in the trenches where the frost so bitter hung.
The frozen fields of France were warmed as songs of peace were sung.
For the walls they'd kept between us to exact the work of war,
Had been crumbled and were gone forevermore.

My name is Francis Toliver, in Liverpool I dwell,
Each Christmas come since World War I, I've learned its lessons well,
That the ones who call the shots won't be among the dead and lame,
And on each end of the rifle we're the same."

If you would like to hear the song, you can CLICK HERE

I hope this touches somebody today as must as it did myself...this is one time I really wish history would repeat itself and have a different ending.




posted on Dec, 18 2010 @ 01:48 PM
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I don't know about everyone else, but here we have a saying:

Christmas is whenever Man wants it.

the giving season should and can be every single day



posted on Dec, 18 2010 @ 01:50 PM
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reply to post by onehuman
 


I had posted this back in 05 it just goes to show what people can really do if they care.



Christmas In The Trenches


Words & Music
By John McCutcheon


The Christmas Truce 1914, up dated video



posted on Dec, 18 2010 @ 01:51 PM
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Originally posted by AnotherYOU
I don't know about everyone else, but here we have a saying:

Christmas is whenever Man wants it.

the giving season should and can be every single day





I dont know where your "here" is, but I think I live there in my heart. Must be a beautiful place.



posted on Dec, 18 2010 @ 01:54 PM
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Originally posted by onehuman


I dont know where your "here" is, but I think I live there in my heart. Must be a beautiful place.


here and there, it doesn't matter.

home is always where the heart is.



posted on Dec, 18 2010 @ 02:31 PM
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reply to post by Sauron
 


Thank you for posting the video. It puts it in much better perspective.



posted on Dec, 18 2010 @ 03:04 PM
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Thankyou for posting this, i have never heard of it before unfortunately.
It is quite amazing, a beautiful song.
There is always good in people no matter what terrible things they may have done.



posted on Dec, 18 2010 @ 05:08 PM
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Originally posted by zero314
Thankyou for posting this, i have never heard of it before unfortunately.
It is quite amazing, a beautiful song.
There is always good in people no matter what terrible things they may have done.


Im not sure who you are thanking or what part of the story you weren't aware of, be it the story itself or the song, but Im glad you enjoyed it either way.

and I concur, the tiniest of spark will always remain. That's the good news.



posted on Dec, 18 2010 @ 05:17 PM
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reply to post by onehuman
 


There is also a film based on the truce, "Joyeux Noel."

If you can withstand some of the pre/post violence, I highly recommend it:

www.imdb.com...



posted on Dec, 18 2010 @ 05:32 PM
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Originally posted by sonjah1
reply to post by onehuman
 


There is also a film based on the truce, "Joyeux Noel."

If you can withstand some of the pre/post violence, I highly recommend it:

www.imdb.com...


Thanks so much for posting that. I myself have seen it as this little nugget of history has always been dear to me. I do hope the folks that this is new too do take the time to watch it though. I think it touched me more then the Jimmy Stewart film, "It's A Wonderful Life" as far as Christmas stories goes. The fact that it truly happened is a testament to Man in his finer moments in time to me.



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