During 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”.
Chase Sydnor, VFP UK