As we reach the end of 2014, we also reach the end of the ceremonies commemorating the 100th anniversary of WWI.
Being from Normandy I’m more familiar with WWII, but my husband’s family is from Alsace Lorraine, and thus I’ve also heard stories about the bloodiness and misery of WWI.
Despite the violence of this war, something quite exceptional happened around Christmas in 1914. A significant number of men from all sides decided not only to stop fighting but also to celebrate Christmas together.
I hadn’t planned to write about the 1914 Christmas Truce, but I read a blog post that made me change my original piece. Mike’s words about this special cease fire fit with what I believe most of us hope for on Christmas: PEACE.
Growing up in France, I learned at a young age to be cynical and avoid sentimentality. French people, I suspect, use these traits of character to hide emotions and to avoid being too mushy.
Now, though, I want to be like the men in the trenches, who weren’t afraid to choose humanity over cruelty and peace over war.
If you haven’t seen it yet and despite the fact that critics have described it as a little too sentimental, the 2005 French film Joyeux Noël that tells of the 1914 Christmas Truce can be a good movie to watch on Christmas Eve, which also marks the end of Hanukah.
So regardless of religious faith, I propose a toast to Peace.