Christmas Truce

Perhaps one of the most unusual events of World War I was the Christmas Truce of 1914. In the midst of all-out war between the Allies and the Germans, some individual soldiers dared to call out across the trenches and offer respite from the fighting:

The night before Christmas, a British captain serving at Rue du Bois heard a foreign accent from across the divide saying, “Do not shoot after 12 o’clock and we will not do so either,” and then: “If you English come out and talk to us, we won’t fire.”

Commonwealth troops fighting in Belgium and France started to hear odd sounds drifting from across no-man’s land; German soldiers were singing Christmas carols like “Stille Nacht, Heilige Nacht” (“Silent Night, Holy Night”). Allied troops applauded and cheered, shouting out for more. Soldiers on both sides began to sing in unison, trading verses in alternating languages.

The Real Story Behind the 1914 Christmas Truce in World War I, G. Dvorsky (Dec. 24, 2015).

For the better part of a day, they put down their arms, sang songs, played soccer, and shared gifts. In the middle of a war. It’s almost hard to believe. How could this happen?

Many of them saw themselves as pawns in a game they didn’t understand, fighting against an enemy for reasons that weren’t immediately obvious.

Back to the present.  Consider this story out of Ohio:

Mark Ross was in a speeding vehicle, traveling Sunday to visit his heartbroken mother following the death of his 15-year-old sister Eliza, when the car was pulled over.

With the car being towed, Ross started to cry.

“I knew I was going to jail due to a petty warrant,” Ross wrote on Facebook.

Officers in Michigan — where Ross’s outstanding misdemeanor warrant was issued — refused to pick the man up because of the distance, he wrote.

When an officer, identified as Ohio State Highway Patrol Sgt. David Robison, learned of Ross’s situation, he decided to drive Ross to visit his family.

Ohio cop drives man 100 miles to reach his grieving family: ‘He gave me hope’ N.Y. Daily News (Sept. 27, 2016). It’s not what you expected. Like a Christmas truce.

In the middle of a war.


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