This beacon of our humanity lives on

York Press: This beacon of our humanity lives on This beacon of our humanity lives on

AS READERS will be aware, 2014 will mark the 100th centenary of the outbreak of the First World War.

By the end of 1914 a number of battles had been fought with significant losses on all sides, and as the year’s end approached it dawned on the various participants that this war would most probably not be over by Christmas.

The set-piece battles of past conflicts were consigned to the history books and were replaced with the horrors of trench warfare. Though few could have guessed it at the time, the scene was set for a slaughter of Europe’s youth on an industrial scale that would shape the rest of the century.

Yet as Christmas Day in 1914 approached, the guns fell silent.

In many sectors troops from opposing sides offered one another a hand of friendship.

Soldiers erected makeshift Christmas trees, sang carols together, and exchanged cigarettes and chocolate and other gifts. Some played football.

I find it heartening and yet heartbreaking that such a spontaneous truce was possible. I regard the truce as a beacon of humanity among the unimaginable pain and suffering of war and think that this is a story worth reflecting on as we celebrate the festive season and see in the year which will mark the 100th anniversary of the outbreak of this tragic conflict.

Chris Beverley, Common Lane, East Ardsley, Wakefield.

Comments (3)

Please log in to enable comment sorting

9:23am Tue 24 Dec 13

Zetkin says...

What a shame they picked up their guns again and, having picked them up, didn't turn them against their own generals.
What a shame they picked up their guns again and, having picked them up, didn't turn them against their own generals. Zetkin

2:10pm Tue 24 Dec 13

York Fox says...

Zetkin wrote:
What a shame they picked up their guns again and, having picked them up, didn't turn them against their own generals.
Thank God they didn't else we would have all been living in a communist/Soviet nightmare. Oh, no, actually that isn't true as the Soviet dystopia would have collapsed into further revolution and bloodshed by now, and probably been replaced by a faux democratic dictatorship. Thank God that those soldiers fought for the morals and ideals they believed in - for Democracy, freedom, and for Britain.
[quote][p][bold]Zetkin[/bold] wrote: What a shame they picked up their guns again and, having picked them up, didn't turn them against their own generals.[/p][/quote]Thank God they didn't else we would have all been living in a communist/Soviet nightmare. Oh, no, actually that isn't true as the Soviet dystopia would have collapsed into further revolution and bloodshed by now, and probably been replaced by a faux democratic dictatorship. Thank God that those soldiers fought for the morals and ideals they believed in - for Democracy, freedom, and for Britain. York Fox

2:49pm Wed 25 Dec 13

Sillybillies says...

York Fox wrote:
Zetkin wrote:
What a shame they picked up their guns again and, having picked them up, didn't turn them against their own generals.
Thank God they didn't else we would have all been living in a communist/Soviet nightmare. Oh, no, actually that isn't true as the Soviet dystopia would have collapsed into further revolution and bloodshed by now, and probably been replaced by a faux democratic dictatorship. Thank God that those soldiers fought for the morals and ideals they believed in - for Democracy, freedom, and for Britain.
Your nightmare is Zetkin's dream, especially if it ultimately ended democracy, and freedom.
[quote][p][bold]York Fox[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Zetkin[/bold] wrote: What a shame they picked up their guns again and, having picked them up, didn't turn them against their own generals.[/p][/quote]Thank God they didn't else we would have all been living in a communist/Soviet nightmare. Oh, no, actually that isn't true as the Soviet dystopia would have collapsed into further revolution and bloodshed by now, and probably been replaced by a faux democratic dictatorship. Thank God that those soldiers fought for the morals and ideals they believed in - for Democracy, freedom, and for Britain.[/p][/quote]Your nightmare is Zetkin's dream, especially if it ultimately ended democracy, and freedom. Sillybillies

Comments are closed on this article.

click2find

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree