Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

December 21, 2013

Dec. 21, 2013: Cheers & Jeers

Kokomo Tribune

---- — ‘What a wonderful community’

Mary Owsley of Sharpsville sends this Cheer for Howard County generosity:

Cheers to Howard County! How great to have such giving and dedicated people who make We Care the most outstanding event of the year.

“Doing this for all these years, what a wonderful community! Thanks to everyone who participates. Everyone comes together to make this happen, not expecting any recognition for all they do.

“I would also like to thank Angels For Kids and all of the others of Howard County who helped get Kayden and his mother, Sarah Woodruff, the handicap-accessible van they needed so badly. You are all just great!”

Kindness, consideration on display

Derinda Durham of Russiaville sends this Cheer for Adams Auto Sales:

I want to send a heartfelt Cheer out to Adams Auto Sales, Service and Collision Repair, located at 1400 E. Boulevard. On the recent Saturday that a snowstorm had dumped approximately 5 inches of snow on the ground, my daughter and I were running errands in Kokomo when her SUV began to smoke.

“Smoke billowed from under the hood and out of the vents as we traveled down U.S. 31. We immediately made the decision to pull off onto Boulevard. Spotting Adams Auto, we quickly pulled into the service parking lot.

“My daughter went in to explain our dilemma. Because it was a Saturday, Bill, the man who seemed to be in charge, explained no parts supply stores were open and the only auto tech working was only doing minor jobs, such as oil changes. We were advised not to drive any farther to prevent more damage. We were also told we could leave the vehicle there and they they could look at it on Monday.

“While trying to arrange for a ride home, we called several cab companies. One company didn’t answer the phone at all. Another told us that where we wanted to go, Russiaville, was too far, weather conditions were too bad and that they had too many reserved, priority pickups scheduled already.

“After about 45 minutes of trying to arrange a ride to no avail, Bill personally arranged for a car and driver to shuttle us home. Upon safe delivery, the driver would not accept any money for time or gas.

“I so appreciated the kindness, consideration and extra effort displayed by the service center employees at Adams.”

Christmas has an effect on the world

Jeff Hatton sends this Cheer for the Christmas spirit, which often leads to something “miraculous”:

It was Dec. 24, 1914, Christmas Eve in the trenches of World War I, the ‘war to end all wars.’ The German army had pushed through Belgium into France and was beaten back outside Paris by armies of the French and British. A front line between the opposing forces ran continuously from the North Sea to the Swiss frontier. In the stalemate, troops existed in ditches of mud and squalor, in some places no more than 30 yards apart.

“As Christmas approached, Pope Benedict XV begged the warring sides to declare an official truce, at least on Christmas Eve. There were others who called for the same observance, all to no avail.

“Troops on both sides received Christmas packages. The Germans got small Christmas trees with candles to adorn them. The men, weary of their circumstances, lit the candles, put them on the trees and set them up on the edge of their trenches. They began singing carols, and the British troops joined in. Then the spirit of men who had just been trying to kill each other took hold. They signaled back and forth to get the other’s attention, and the guns fell silent. The men came out at various points along the lines and met each other in the no-man’s-land that separated them.

“German and British soldiers gathered their dead, and then they moved to one another’s trenches where they talked to each other as friends, surprised to find how much the enemy was actually like themselves. They used the things they had received in their packages as gifts to exchange with each other.

“While not all commanders opposed the fraternization, top commanders, when they heard what was happening, issued orders against it. Governments advised fraternization with the enemy was treason, subordinate commanders were told of ‘the absolute necessity of encouraging the offensive spirit of the troops.’

“The next year, 1915, truces at Easter were tried but they failed, and at Christmas, Allied commanders issued orders forbidding familiarities with the enemy. Troops were rotated around the front to keep them from getting to know the other side. But the human element occasionally broke through; artillery fire was directed to areas where casualties could be avoided, and the men would still, if briefly, get together here and there.

“It is amazing the effect this time of year has on the world. During World War I, men on battlefields put down their weapons and embraced in brotherhood, even if only for a few hours.

“You might call it miraculous.”