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Christmas Message by Chase Sydnor

 

ChaseDuring Christmas of 1914, British and German troops ceased fighting and adhering to the spirit of “Peace and goodwill towards men” ventured into ‘no-mans’ land to talk, exchange gifts, and even share good-natured banter. It culminated in a game of football which brought unity, fostering a sense of brotherhood and a common humanity.
For this fleeting moment of history, both sides saw through the inhumanity of war which was being propagated by the establishment, and saw each other as humans, not Huns or Tommie’s…just simply…as men! Each soldier “Put up their swords” to embrace one another during a time of year when the birth of Jesus, the ‘Prince of Peace’ ushered in everlasting peace not only between mankind and God, but between the whole human race.

As veterans striving to press towards peace and to highlighting the murder which is the pure essence of war, let us reflect at this time of year at the bravery and example of these men who downed their tools of war and showed the world what can be achieved when those who have been ordered to kill in the name of governments decide that this madness can no-longer persist. Let us draw a line in the sand.

At a time when commercial greed is blinding us in the name of a supposed religious holiday, the same greed which feeds the monster of war, let us regardless of religious or non-religious affiliation in Veterans for Peace have the courage to keep working for a time when “Nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war anymore”.

Shalom

Chase Sydnor, VFP UK

 

  • Peter Thomas 24/12/2013, 01:32

    As a young boy I had a neighbour called Percy who would sit on his front door step smoking his pipe. Old Percy was a survivor of the Battle of the Somme in 1916, but he remebered the Christmas truce of 1914. He told me how the Saxons opposite sang ‘Stille Nacht’ so beautifully, and the Saxons were the first to offer peace by throwing ‘puddings’ over. By ‘puddings’, he meant their thick salami sausages which kept well in the trenches. At first the boys dived for cover thinking they were ‘trench bombs’ or what we now call ‘grenades’. The British response was to kick a football back at the Saxons, and so peace broke out spontaneously over a huge length of the front line. These boys had much more in-common with those Saxons than they had with their own high command, and predictably they were banned from ‘fraternising with the enemy’ from there onwards, on pain of death. So it goes. Despite this and for my own sins, I joined up at 15 years old.

  • David Mmarchesi 24/12/2013, 12:55

    with a probable flood of pro-war propaganda likely in the coming year, it is unlikely that the quiet voices of decency and simple humanity will be heard -Chase Sydnor notes so well the crucial fact that, apart from nationality, troops on all fronts were largely from the working classes, who clearly had far more in common with each other than with their officers. Come to think of it, the officers and the political and business “leaders” behind the war also had quite a lot in common, only they saw war as a sort of sport.One finds cause to believe in the old concept of Hell to which the “leaders” of all countries- at least as much this country’s as the Germans- refused totally to stop the war despite opportunities to do so well before 1918.Only the Russians took the sensible step of ending the slaughter of their people.Let’s hope that, thanks to the brave efforts of VFP and other anti-war, anti-militarist folk, the truth about WW1 will not be completely submerged by the media ( a “balanced” view of WW1 is no more sensible than a “balanced” view of Auschwitz )

  • Katherine 11/02/2014, 23:16

    I watched a great documentary about this, What a great moment in time, I wonder what would have been the outcome if they would have continued the peace and stopped the war.