Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Silent Night's Christmas Truce

  A cross, left near Ypres in Belgium in 1999, 
to commemorate the site of the Christmas Truce in 1914. 
The text reads 1914 The Khaki Chum's Christmas Truce -1999 -  85 Years - Lest We Forget.

Man's fundamental decency surfaced briefly in the midst of hell, and should never be forgotten. For a brief time at least, peace on earth prevailed and goodwill was shared among men whose job it was to kill each other.

"The truce began on Christmas Eve, 24 December 1914, when German troops began decorating the area around their trenches in the region of Ypres, Belgium, for Christmas. They began by placing candles on trees, then continued the celebration by singing Christmas carols, most notably Stille Nacht (Silent Night). The British troops in the trenches across from them responded by singing English carols.

The two sides continued by shouting Christmas greetings to each other. Soon thereafter, there were calls for visits across the "No Man's Land" where small gifts were exchanged — whisky, jam, cigars, chocolate, and the like. The soldiers exchanged gifts, sometimes addresses, and drank together. The artillery in the region fell silent that night. The truce also allowed a breathing spell where recently-fallen soldiers could be brought back behind their lines by burial parties. Proper burials took place as soldiers from both sides mourned the dead together and paid their respects." (Souce: Wikipedia)
I am sharing with you an excerpt of the movie Joyeux Noel courtesy of You Tube, a movie inspired by a true story, which happened on Christmas Eve 1914 during World War I.This beautiful film dramatizes one such section as the French, Scottish and German sides partake in the unique event, even though they are aware that their superiors will not tolerate its occurrence.

Think about the words of "Silent Night" and see how they can bring hostilities to a halt. "All Is Calm, All Is Bright" Who knows about the world's ills better than soldiers who are facing the consequences of war, killing, and death?

"Son of God, love's pure light" is what those men needed in the darkness of that winter night.  The words and melody are simple, yet profound. Hearing the song makes one stop and breathe and be transported to a place of natural beauty and calm. It is a heavenly song and universally loved.

Even though we may not be engaged in physical combat, we all face the battles of everyday life. We can let the peace of that holy night, the night of our dear Savior's birth, reign in our hearts the whole year through.

This Christmas season, let us seek the true path of forgiveness, where love releases those captured by hatred; an era when the sun of peace and justice rises, when greed and grudges do not rule us, and when enmities among us decline; a time when people find agreement, in a spirit of harmony and friendliness.

"Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests." Luke 2:14


  1. That is the true essence of Christmas, peace, love and hope. Kahit isang araw lang ay naipakita nila ang pagmamahal bilang isang tao at kaibigan.

    Lagi natin naririnig ang Peace on Earth sa mga greeting and songs. But still wars is every where. Ganun pa man ay Panginoon ay isinilang para sa ating kaligtasan. Sana makamit natin ang tunay na kapayapaan na magmula sa ating sarili.

    9 days na lang bro!

  2. NIce pledge between the two troops. Best example of what Christmas is all about.

    God peace be with you!Merry Christmas!

  3. Amen, George! This is a heart-wrenching piece about Silent Night. So now I know why the music is sad. Kaya lang, sana maawit ko pa rin sya nang hindi ako nalulungkot kundi ng may pag-asa.

    (You know what came to my mind just now? Isang nanay sa isang slum area na naiilawan lang ng gasera and naghehele ng kanya bunso. Nakatulog na sa gutom. Bisperas ng Pasko pero wala silang makain. And the mother is humming Silent Night).

    The things I do when I feel sad. Hehe. (I'm laughing but I'm really feeling sad right now).

    Merry Christmas sa yo at sa family mo!

  4. Hahanapin ko ang pelikulang Joyeux Noel.

    Ganda naman ng mga words niyo sa post na ito, lalung-lalo na 'yong huling dalawang talatang bughaw ang kulay ng mga titik!

    May 'disco version' ng kantang Silent Night, pero hindi yata angkop sa mga lyrics nito.



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