Friday, December 10, 2010

Silent Night

The truce began on Christmas Eve, 24 December 1914, when German troops began decorating the area around their trenches in the region of Ypres, Belgium, for Christmas. They began by placing candles on trees, then continued the celebration by singing Christmas carols, most notably Stille Nacht (Silent Night). The British troops in the trenches across from them responded by singing English carols.
Silent Night
The two sides continued by shouting Christmas greetings to each other. Soon thereafter, there were calls for visits across the "No Man's Land" where small gifts were exchanged — whisky, jam, cigars, chocolate, and the like. The soldiers exchanged gifts, sometimes addresses, and drank together. The artillery in the region fell silent that night. The truce also allowed a breathing spell where recently-fallen soldiers could be brought back behind their lines by burial parties. Proper burials took place as soldiers from both sides mourned the dead together and paid their respects.

The truce spread to other areas of the lines, and there are many stories of football matches between the opposing forces.

In many sectors, the truce lasted through Christmas night, but in some areas, it continued until New Year's Day.

If one song can make peace for one night. Why can't we have peace all year long.


Nick said...

I think we humans are not made for peace...if u follow the history

Stan said...

War, huh, yeah
What is it good for?
Absolutely nothing!
Say it again, y’all!
EDWIN STARR lyrics – War

Leatherpigboy said...

i kind of have to agree with Nick.

Aussie Boy said...

The story is rather poignant for me as my grandfather was in the British Army in WW1 and was in one of the places where the truce occurred.
May you all have peace and love in all their forms in the years ahead and may we continue to strive for a more peaceful world for all.
In the meantime, thoughts to all our (Aus/UK/US/Can etc) personnel away from family and friends at this time, may they / or you, stay safe.
As I'm in Australia, its summertime here, so Xmas for us is BBQs, with a feast built around crayfish (lobster), prawns (shrimp) and steaks and salads and plenty of beer/spririts and champers.. and a dessert called Pavlova <-yummy look it up :)


I'm in Australia too and it is Summer and Christmas will be different from places in the northern hemisphere. But it is a time to think deeply about what we believe, what we hope for, what I am doing to make this world a better place - a place where all can live in peace and harmony. I'm an old man now, but I look back on many Christmases past and there has always been something special about this one day of the year. But each day is special. What am I doing with today.

Anonymous said...

If only there was permanent peace, but sadly itll never happen. As soon as one war ends another springs up. That Xmas armistice was a long time ago...maybe people were more aware of how futile war was when they were actually fighting it back then.

Koba said...

I'm with Stan. War. What's it good for?

I'm wishing you a very peaceful Christmas season, buddy!

Ray's Cowboy said...

I htink it is a beautiful song. and I say we can have peace if we try.


Stephen said...

Thanks. Touching and beautiful. peace, love and happiness to you all