When the night fell silent: The Christmas truce of 1914

by Mary Del Rosario
Stripes Europe

As I recall my childhood singing the famous Christmas carol “Silent Night,” images of my mom bringing my sisters and I hot cocoa as we sit by the fireplace singing this tune come fleeing in my mind. What is now a feel-good holiday hit was a saving grace between German and British troops during World War I in 1914.

The goose-bump inducing tale states that on Christmas day, A German soldier emerged from his trench and started to sing the famous song as he entered “No Man’s Land.” He first sang "Silent Night" proudly and loudly in German and then in English. After many ears tuned in to hear the angelic voice, the shooting stopped and since the British also knew the song, they sang back, causing a temporary ceasefire. Humbled and moved, soldiers wrote to their families about this touching moment.

Though this ceasefire lasted only a moment, this truce should be a reminder to us all what the holiday season is really about — compassion, humanity and kindness to all. From all of us at Stars and Stripes, we wish you a very merry Christmas! 

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