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Thread: a soldiers night before christmas

  1. #1
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    a soldiers night before christmas

    T'was the night before christmas, he lived all alone,

    in a one-bedroom house, made of plaster and stone.

    I had come down the chimney, with presents to give,

    and to see just who, in this home, did live.*

    i looked all about, a strange sight i did see,

    no tinsel, no presents, not even a tree.

    No stocking by mantle, just boots filled with sand,

    on the wall hung pictures, of far distant lands.*

    with medals and badges, awards of all kinds,

    a sobering thought, came through my mind.

    For this house was different, it was dark and dreary,

    i’d found the home of a soldier, once i could see clearly.*

    the soldier lay sleeping, silent, alone,

    curled up on the floor, in this one-bedroom home.

    The face was so gentle, the room in disorder,

    not how i pictured, a true u.s. Soldier*

    was this the hero, of whom i'd just read?

    Curled up on a poncho, the floor for a bed?

    I realized the families, that i saw this night,

    owed their lives to these soldiers, who were willing to fight.*

    soon round the world, the children would play,

    and grownups would celebrate, a bright christmas day.

    They all enjoyed freedom, each month of the year,

    because of the soldiers, like the one lying here.*

    i couldn't help wonder, how many lay alone,

    on a cold christmas eve, in a land far from home.

    The very thought brought, a tear to my eye,

    i dropped to my knees, and started to cry.*

    the soldier awakened, and i heard a rough voice,

    "santa don't cry, this life is my choice;

    i fight for freedom, i don't ask for more,

    my life is my god, my country, my corps.."*

    the soldier rolled over, and drifted to sleep,

    i couldn't control it, i continued to weep.

    I kept watch for hours, so silent and still,

    and we both shivered, from the cold night's chill.*

    i did not want to leave, on that cold, dark, night,

    this guardian of honor, so willing to fight.

    Then the soldier rolled over, with a voice soft and pure,

    whispered, "carry on santa, it's christmas day, all is secure."*

    one look at my watch, and i knew he was right.

    "merry christmas my friend, and to all a good night."*

  2. #2
    SF Friend total eclipse's Avatar
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    Re: a soldiers night before christmas

    What a great poem hun thanks for sharing it
    You cannot do a kindness too soon, for you never know how soon it will be too late.

    Ralph Waldo Emerson

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    Re: a soldiers night before christmas

    Quote Originally Posted by total eclipse View Post
    What a great poem hun thanks for sharing it


    i'm honestly surprised i'm not getting more nice emails like this at this time of year- i usually do

    hmm... maybe closer to christmas day

  4. #4
    Senior Member Aquarius123's Avatar
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    In the context of the beautiful poem you may find the following of interest. Thank you for sharing it with us here, dear Emily.

    The Christmas truce was a series of widespread, unofficial ceasefires that took place along the Western Front around Christmas 1914, during World War I. Through the week leading up to Christmas, parties of German and British soldiers began to exchange seasonal greetings and songs between their trenches; on occasion, the tension was reduced to the point that individuals would walk across to talk to their opposite numbers bearing gifts. On Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, many soldiers from both sides—as well as, to a lesser degree, from French units—independently ventured into "no man's land", where they mingled, exchanging food and souvenirs. As well as joint burial ceremonies, several meetings ended in carol-singing. Troops from both sides were also friendly enough to play games of soccer with one another.

    The truce is often seen as a symbolic moment of peace and humanity amidst one of the most violent events of modern history. It was not ubiquitous; in some regions of the front, fighting continued throughout the day, while in others, little more than an arrangement to recover bodies was made. The following year, a few units again arranged ceasefires with their opponents over Christmas, but the truces were not nearly as widespread as in 1914; this was, in part, due to strongly worded orders from the high commands of both sides prohibiting such fraternization. In 1916, after the unprecedentedly bloody battles of the Somme and Verdun, and the beginning of widespread poison gas use, soldiers on both sides increasingly viewed the other side as less than human, and no more Christmas truces were sought.

    In the early months of immobile trench warfare, the truces were not unique to the Christmas period, and reflected a growing mood of "live and let live", where infantry units in close proximity to each other would stop overtly aggressive behaviour, and often engage in small-scale fraternisation, engaging in conversation or bartering for cigarettes. In some sectors, there would be occasional ceasefires to allow soldiers to go between the lines and recover wounded or dead comrades, while in others, there would be a tacit agreement not to shoot while men rested, exercised, or worked in full view of the enemy. The Christmas truces were particularly significant due to the number of men involved and the level of their participation – even in very peaceful sectors, dozens of men openly congregating in daylight was remarkable. The truces of 1914, either those in December 25 or before the Christmas period that year, though remembered today with much sympathy, were in no way exceptions when considering similar events in the many warfare theatres that history has recorded: during many previous armed conflicts such spontaneous truces arrived probably as frequent and "magically" as it was the case during the first year of hostilities in the war.

    From Wikipedia
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christmas_truce

    With love and light,
    Aquarius

    So long as this you fail to see:
    That death precedes re-birth!
    A gloomy guest you’ll always be,
    Upon this darkling Earth.

    ‘The Soul's Yearning'
    Goethe
    ‘The Random Jottings of a Stargazer’
    www.raysofwisdom.com

  5. #5
    Administrator & Antiquities Friend NYJmpMaster's Avatar
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    Re: a soldiers night before christmas

    The acts of kindness between opposing soldiers are very common and never heralded. The small things of humanity that get lost in the much larger and more widespread stories of horror and atrocities and evil of war. I remember in the first gulf war taking bottles of water and setting them near the outpost where the "enemy soldiers" were entrenched and had been for several days and waiving to them as they came and got it. The next day on our patrol through the same area - was a standard patrol on regular intervals- there was hot tea on a small fire in the same place. While this was (for those of you that may remember the 1st gulf war) during operation shock and awe and not while actively engaging troops directly on the ground, we knew they had no supplies because of the operation and knew that while not having ammo and military supplies was the idea, we decided we could not sit and watch them having not even water to drink - they are people and humans that certainly were no more interested in being their at that particular time than we were so we took them water- and showing they were just as humane and decent as people once you got by the uniforms dictating greater actions and horribleness, they returned the kindness as they were able as a reminder that they were equally decent humans. I saw more random acts of kindness between even enemy soldiers, us , and civilians every day an week than could be counted. There are absolutely many horrible atrocities and acts of evil , but there is far more balance to those acts in acts of goodness and kindness than any would believe. When it was people dealing with people it did not matter ideology or religion - it was just people in horrible situations trying to be as good a person as they could be - pity that is not how disputes are settled- based on ability to show kindness without an agenda as opposed to groups making a "point".
    If you do nothing today to make tomorrow better - then do not be disappointed with tomorrow

    "Discipline is simply choosing between what you want now and what you want most"

    Knowing the right thing to do is easy. Actually doing the right thing is sometimes harder.

  6. #6
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    Re: a soldiers night before christmas

    Quote Originally Posted by Aquarius123 View Post
    In the context of the beautiful poem you may find the following of interest. Thank you for sharing it with us here, dear Emily.

    The Christmas truce was a series of widespread, unofficial ceasefires that took place along the Western Front around Christmas 1914, during World War I. Through the week leading up to Christmas, parties of German and British soldiers began to exchange seasonal greetings and songs between their trenches; on occasion, the tension was reduced to the point that individuals would walk across to talk to their opposite numbers bearing gifts. On Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, many soldiers from both sides—as well as, to a lesser degree, from French units—independently ventured into "no man's land", where they mingled, exchanging food and souvenirs. As well as joint burial ceremonies, several meetings ended in carol-singing. Troops from both sides were also friendly enough to play games of soccer with one another.

    The truce is often seen as a symbolic moment of peace and humanity amidst one of the most violent events of modern history. It was not ubiquitous; in some regions of the front, fighting continued throughout the day, while in others, little more than an arrangement to recover bodies was made. The following year, a few units again arranged ceasefires with their opponents over Christmas, but the truces were not nearly as widespread as in 1914; this was, in part, due to strongly worded orders from the high commands of both sides prohibiting such fraternization. In 1916, after the unprecedentedly bloody battles of the Somme and Verdun, and the beginning of widespread poison gas use, soldiers on both sides increasingly viewed the other side as less than human, and no more Christmas truces were sought.

    In the early months of immobile trench warfare, the truces were not unique to the Christmas period, and reflected a growing mood of "live and let live", where infantry units in close proximity to each other would stop overtly aggressive behaviour, and often engage in small-scale fraternisation, engaging in conversation or bartering for cigarettes. In some sectors, there would be occasional ceasefires to allow soldiers to go between the lines and recover wounded or dead comrades, while in others, there would be a tacit agreement not to shoot while men rested, exercised, or worked in full view of the enemy. The Christmas truces were particularly significant due to the number of men involved and the level of their participation – even in very peaceful sectors, dozens of men openly congregating in daylight was remarkable. The truces of 1914, either those in December 25 or before the Christmas period that year, though remembered today with much sympathy, were in no way exceptions when considering similar events in the many warfare theatres that history has recorded: during many previous armed conflicts such spontaneous truces arrived probably as frequent and "magically" as it was the case during the first year of hostilities in the war.

    From Wikipedia
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christmas_truce

    With love and light,
    Aquarius



    who needs discovery channel, we have you

    lol... thanks though, that was interesting

  7. #7
    Senior Member Aquarius123's Avatar
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    Re: a soldiers night before christmas

    My pleasure, dear Emily. Glad you enjoyed it.

    With love - Aquarius


    So long as this you fail to see:
    That death precedes re-birth!
    A gloomy guest you’ll always be,
    Upon this darkling Earth.

    ‘The Soul's Yearning'
    Goethe
    ‘The Random Jottings of a Stargazer’
    www.raysofwisdom.com

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