Merry Christmas everyone, I know it’s quite late but if we all could just pause for a moment and remember that 100 years ago, on Christmas day, for most of us that day is spent with our families at home. But there were many men who weren’t as fortunate as we are. They were sitting in the trenches in the mud, the filth. They were wet, they were cold and they were very afraid, but moreover they were very alone, far from their homes and loved ones. The so-called “most wonderful time of the year” wasn’t living up to its name. Fathers, brothers and sons, men who had been fighting and killing each other for months did something that was shocking for their commanding generals, shocking to the heads of their countries and baffling to future historians, to the people of their countries it was a sign of hope but to their generals it was a sign of insubordination. This act that would echo out through the ages was that they decided to stop fighting. But the most incredible thing is not that they thought that they should stop fighting but that all across France fighting stopped Christmas. The troops from both sides exchanged cigarettes and other small mementos, sang carols and in one area even played a game of soccer. The truces lasted from anywhere to only Christmas to all the way to New Years and it is likely, if they had not been ordered to fight again (and in more than a few places forced), the war could have ended there. So let us pause and reflect that, in the madness and utter chaos of war, men can still love one another and goodness can prevail. Remembrance isn’t only for November. Lest we forget.

Author: Jack