My parents were from the World War 2 Generation and the Great Depression. These things made them who they were, they were part of the “Greatest Generation” To their credit, they instilled in each of their children the values that shaped their lives.
My dad did not speak much about his war time service. It was mostly is broad sweeping terms. But he did speak of the time before the battle of “The Bulge”. How on both sides would carry out a “Gentlemen’s War” They would only shell open areas of the line, they would go out on patrols and purposely not make contact with the enemy so both sides could live another day. Then after the offensive started my dad told me about a troop truck, he saw pass by him. What caught his attention was the look of the men in that truck. As they passed him none of men spoke a word, they all were doing was looking straight ahead holding their rifles. They knew full well what lie ahead for them.
Then also he spoke of the lost GI patrol that came upon the farmhouse deep in the Arden forest. A woman and her young son lived in the house. The GIs asked to stay the night. Then how a likewise lost German patrol found this very same farm house. Both sides put down their arms and spent the night at peace. In the morning both sides left the same way in peace.
This reminded me of the story I heard about the Christmas of 1914 during “The Great War”. On the days leading up to Christmas both sides slowly came out of their trenches and celebrated Christmas together. After that event, a strange thing happened...men who only a day before would have shot and killed each other, now even when ordered to would not kill their fellow man! They had been forever changed and could not take up arms against their “enemy”. They had seen the true meaning of the season, the glorious celebration of the birth of our Risen Savior, The Prince of Peace, Jesus my Lord and personal Savior.
As much as I love this time of the year, I long so much for His return when he will reign on earth and they will beat their swords into pruning hooks and their shield into plow shares. When men will no longer have to take up arms against one another!
Below you will find a link to a commercial that celebrates that Christmas truce all those years ago. Also, if you want to read more about this please read the book Silence Night (click here to see the book at Amazon)