In the long annals of war, tales of courage, slaughter and despair dominate, but one event stands out for its example of shared humanity: the spontaneous Christmas Truce of World War I.
Starting earlier in December and culminating on Christmas Day in 1914, many allied British and French troops on one side and Germans on the other left their trenches and greeted each other on No-Man’s Land. The sudden fraternization happened on many spots along the Western Front, with soldiers swapping souvenirs, raising toasts, singing Christmas songs and playing soccer.
A 19-year-old British private, Henry Williamson, who would become an acclaimed novelist, was among those who wrote home about the experience, giddily telling his mother that he was smoking real German tobacco.
This truly<a href=”https://nypost.com/2020/03/13/trump-declares-national-emergency-over-widening-coronavirus-outbreak/”> </a>is a national emergency, and if we are to prevail, as President Trump insists we will, unity is essential.
“From a German soldier. Yes a live German soldier from his own trench,” Williamson wrote. “Yesterday the British & Germans met & shook hands in the Ground between the trenches, & exchanged souvenirs, & shook hands. Yes, all day Xmas day, & as I write. Marvellous, isn’t it?”
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Marvelous indeed. And if warring European soldiers could do it a century ago, surely warring American political leaders can do it today.
God knows our nation needs a truce.
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As the deadly coronavirus spreads around the world and across the country, it is forcing a head-spinning upheaval to daily life and challenging not only our medical and political leaders, but also our character. The economic losses already are staggering and the social, sports and cultural disruptions are unprecedented.
This truly is a national emergency, and if we are to prevail, as President Trump insists we will, unity is essential.
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