The Christmas Truce miracle: Soldiers put down their guns to sing carols and drink wine

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The Christmas Truce miracle: Soldiers put down their guns to sing carols and drink wine

On a frosty, starlit night, a miracle took place. In 1914, a melody drifted over the darkness of No Man’s Land. First “O, Holy Night,” then “God Save the King.”

Peeking over their trenches for what must have been the first time in weeks, British soldiers were surprised to see Christmas trees lit with candles on the parapets of the enemy’s trenches.

Then a shout: “You no shoot, we no shoot!”

The Christmas Truce was a brief, spontaneous cease-fire that spread up and down the Western Front in the first year of World War I. It’s also a symbol of the peace on Earth and goodwill toward humans so often lacking not just on the battlefront but in our everyday lives.

In that spirit, the National World War I Museum and Memorial in Kansas City has published an online gallery of hundreds of accounts of such Christmas truces — letters home from soldiers that were published in British papers.
 
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