The Christmas Truce

On Christmas in 1914, just a few months after the start of World War I, German and British troops along the Western Front held an unofficial cease-fire, meeting each other in No Man’s Land, exchanging gifts, burying their dead, singing Christmas songs and playing ball together. This incredibly moving story has inspired many articles, a song and a movie, Joyeux Noel, a French film nominated for Best Foreign Language film in the 78th Academy awards. David G. Stratman wrote about it in his book, We Can Change the World. Here is an article from the London News in 1915, along with an illustration of the event.

Tom Morgan writes, “The image of opposing soldiers, shaking hands with each other on one day and then deliberately trying to kill each other the next, is a powerful one, and one which is part and parcel of remembrance of the Great War. It was, perhaps, a last example of open-handed chivalry before the squalor and horror of the next three years changed the old world for ever.” His site also includes remembrances from soldiers who were there.

As much as war is an obvious moneymaking racket for so many rich and powerful people, one cannot help but think, how much power is in the hands of those who do the actual fighting, and that the possibility of peace may be closer than we realize – all it would take is the softening of hearts.

“He who is centered in the Tao

can go where he wishes, without danger.

He perceives the universal harmony,

even amid great pain,

because he has found peace in his heart.” –Tao Te Ching, #35

Thanks to