A light in darkness

To the Editor:

It may seem that this December 25th will be met half-heartedly. With the looming fiscal cliff, and now the tragedy that has befallen Newtown, Connecticut; it seems pointless to hold onto any hope. We must all remember, however, that hope can be found in despair. To elaborate, we should look at a bright moment coming from one of the dark periods of the 20th century.

The year was 1914, and the first winter was settling in for the conflict now known as World War One. Due to various reasons, the Entente and Central Powers had been fighting each other since August. What was thought to be a quick scuffle was turning out to be a drawn out period of trench warfare. Fierce battles with terrible losses had already been waged; Mons, the First Marne, Tannenberg, and it was only going to get worse. Early war trenches were crude, and conditions were miserable by December.

Despite the dark outlook that befell Europe, one bright moment stood out as 1914 drew to a close. It occurred Christmas Day, along the Ypres salient, between the soldiers of the British Expeditionary Force (along with a few French), and the German Empire. Across No Man's Land, men on both sides came together on friendly terms. Some sang while others exchanged provisions; there was even a football game. While the war would drag on until 1918, the 'Christmas Truce' proved to be a hopeful moment for humanity.

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