Tag Archives: WWI

WWI – Remembrance

Cold the wet horizon lies in silhouetted waste
that runs from where my footsteps fall in hesitation’s haste.
Upon this pitted road of ruin, blackened earth from bombs and blood,
my destination’s certain claim is death here in this mud.

In Liege the madness started, as all declared their stance to war,
that by autumnal equinox the fallen rose half million more.

The stench of death in mix of gas recoils my stepping’s gait,
yet onward to what’s still undone denies this bitter state.
The brazen mud and field works bare the corpses of the dead,
yet standing forest memories form the lamp posts of this hellish stead.

Gallipoli, Verdun, ring fallen echoes home,
yet nothing ranked the senselessness of what we faced in Somme.

The spring of 1918 held hope for millions dead,
yet those of us who stand here still, returned this hope with dread.
Now upon this backing rush storm troopers raised in ire,
whispers of remembrance rekindling this fire.

Now we drive in final push, Amiens and silent Somme,
knowing Hindenburg awaits with more of hell to come.

I count the eyes remaining of the faces that I’ve loved,
these brothers mine, some traces of their angels raised above.
I feel the dank of weary hearts held in courageous hope,
I sense the end is near now, and pray that I can cope…

one more push, one more trench,
another bloodied night in stench
that fills my nostrils sorely with a pain I’ll never loose,
resolve to carry on in strength, relent to those I choose
to aim a fatal blow toward or drop to sudden cover,
waiting for that one last breath in life or as death’s lover.

Over the top boys!

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Filed under History, Memory, Perspective, Poetry

Christmas Truce of 1914

One hundred years ago this day, men at war found the courage to rise above, reach for peace, and strive to embody the reality of the meaning of Christmas.

The following found on the “History” web-site.   http://www.history.com/topics/christmas-truce-of-1914

Christmas Truce of 1914

During World War I, on and around Christmas Day 1914, the sounds of rifles firing and shells exploding faded in a number of places along the Western Front in favor of holiday celebrations in the trenches and gestures of goodwill between enemies.

On Christmas Eve, many German and British troops sang Christmas carols to each other across the lines, and at certain points the Allied soldiers even heard brass bands joining the Germans in their joyous singing.

At the first light of dawn on Christmas Day, some German soldiers emerged from their trenches and approached the Allied lines across no-man’s-land, calling out “Merry Christmas” in their enemies’ native tongues. At first, the Allied soldiers feared it was a trick, but seeing the Germans unarmed they climbed out of their trenches and shook hands with the enemy soldiers. The men exchanged presents of cigarettes and plum puddings and sang carols and songs. There was even a documented case of soldiers from opposing sides playing a good-natured game of soccer.

Some soldiers used this short-lived ceasefire for a more somber task: the retrieval of the bodies of fellow combatants who had fallen within the no-man’s land between the lines.

The so-called Christmas Truce of 1914 came only five months after the outbreak of war in Europe and was one of the last examples of the outdated notion of chivalry between enemies in warfare. It was never repeated—future attempts at holiday ceasefires were quashed by officers’ threats of disciplinary action—but it served as heartening proof, however brief, that beneath the brutal clash of weapons, the soldiers’ essential humanity endured.

During World War I, the soldiers on the Western Front did not expect to celebrate on the battlefield, but even a world war could not destroy the Christmas spirit

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Filed under History, Perspective, Universal Soul