Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

Opinion

December 21, 2013

Dec. 21, 2013: Cheers & Jeers

(Continued)

“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.

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